Monday, June 29, 2009

New ultrasound pics - 7w1d

So, we had our second scan today and it does look like there is just one baby - though we are all somewhat stumped about this (Please don't get me wrong- I've never really wanted twins but this time I am sad about losing that other healthy embryo and I am sad and confused as to why one didn't make it). Even my nurse was like, "with your recent HCG numbers, we would have assumed twins" but once the sac is developed, HCG numbers seem to vary alot. So, we have one very healthy little bean. Again, we went to the old RE so we got a really bad machine and weren't able to get a heart rate since the machines they have cannot measure it at this stage (WTF?). I talked to my RE on Friday (how sweet, he called to congratulate us) and he said if I wanted to, he would give me another u/s order and I should make an appointment with a hospital for a better scan using better machinery since he was a little shocked at what happened on Monday. I'm not sure if we will. Upon inserting that lovely wand, the nurse today (the office does not have sonographers just nurses who use the wands) saw the sac and we saw a little bean and I said, "Does it have a heartbeat?" and she said "let me check" and then turned the machine directly to herself and looked within 2 inches of it for about a minute (while I started absolutely panicking and holding my breath) and then said, "yup. and it looks like a fast one". That is really all I have to say about that. I am relieved that we saw a little flicker on the screen but still feeling like things can crash at any second.

So, without further ado (and don't get your hopes up), these are really grainy images:

This one shows the baby to the right. The baby measured 7w2d and we were at 7w1d, so that is good so far.

This one is the same sac from a different angle? I don't exactly get it...but there is the baby in the middle of the sac and the sac looks smushed...but she said it is fine...just a different angle?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thirty Five?

I turn thirty five tomorrow. Ugh. Years ago, when we first started this IF thing, we thought we'd be on baby number 2 by now. But, over time, our goals change and so far, so good, we've met our revised goal - I am pregnant by my 35th birthday. I know a lot of women are older than this and still getting pregnant and I know I will be back at it- doing more retrievals as soon as possible so we can have siblings at 36 or 37 or 38....40. What I've learned through this whole IF thing is to be flexible:-) But, 35!!??! Once you've had a hard time getting pregnant and seek out an RE you learn...35 is the fertility cliff. I'm falling off. But, I've also learned that Brett and I are super-strong together and can get through anything...and I've learned that IVF does work and really isn't all that bad (its the losses that are bad)...I've learned what I want in life and to not rest until I get it or get too tired to fight for it anymore. So, tomorrow is going to be a happy day. 35 and pregnant.

We have no real plans. I have been pretty sick lately and spend about 75% of my day trying not to throw up. The funny this is that I spend most of that time thinking about food and thinking about food makes me sick. There isn't a damn thing that I want to eat but my stomach hurts A LOT when I don't eat and then once I eat, I start this awful burping thing that turns into dry heaves and I'm convinced I'll vomit but my body has other plans. Apparently once the calories go in, my body absolutely refuses to let them back out. So, I've lost about 4 lbs and am barely 7 weeks pregnant. I'm working on a system. Hopefully I figure something out. About tomororw-my mom invited us over for a BBQ, but what can I eat? I'm also totally unsociable at night b/c I'm so tired. So, I just called her and changed it to a breakfast for my bday:-) Also - found something cool at the grocery store- Betty Crocker came out with Gluten Free baking mixes! So, Brett is making me a cake tomorrow (pray the kitchen doesn't burn down)! I'm sick of being totally high maintenance in the food department with all this gluten free stuff, but it seems to be doing the trick. At some point in the next week I'll write an informative post about GF and issues and stuff since I've had a lot of questions.
How cool is this? I see cakeballs in my future....!

Oh and, by the way, I am NOT complaining about the sickness. Part of me asked for it. When I first found out I was pregnant I thought "I hope I get a little m/s just so I can be oddly reassured that the baby is still growing and wreaking havoc"...well apparently the powers that be did not hear the "little" qualifier I put on that...but I will not complain at all. I know that my HCG levels are high and something is going on in there for now. So, bring it on:-)
What a great birthday gift.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Freakout. edited to add new HCG

I did freak out yesterday and then I thought I was over it when we saw the little heartbeat. But I wasn't. Neither Brett nor I got excited or teary eyed with that little perfect bean. We were so shocked and scared that we just said, "thank God", then the nurse poked around for my ovaries a second, couldn't find them, I asked if there could be a second sac, she said "one is perfect" and didn't look for another one, then I asked, "isn't that sac huge?" and she measured it, it was at 7w1d and when Brett said, "is that good?" she said, "it doesn't mean anything, sac measurements at this point are nothing" and then she took the wand away. So it was sadly anticlimactic and not what I wanted our first u/s to be like...but that's okay, as long as all is well. Of course, I got the phone call later that CCRM is concerned about my blood pressure. She was like, I didn't think you had blood presssure problems since you are pretty young and are a yoga teacher and stuff. I was like, "look, you had just told me that I was miscarrying again...I picked up my husband at work so I could sit in the passenger seat on the way there and cry, I was literally shaking b/c I was afraid to see NOTHING in my uterus and you think my blood pressure should be normal?". Of course, I said it nicely b/c I undestand their concern. Further, I have another ultrasound next Monday b/c they want to make sure everything is okay. When I asked if everything looked okay she said she thinks so - the heartbeat is the only thing they can count and since my old clinic never sent a revised lab slip, she doesn't even have correct labs. It made me so nervous. I asked about the size of the sac and she said it is fine. But, my last baby in the fall, my ultrasound looked TOTALLY different, but maybe that is a good thing? I mean the sac was always just slightly bigger than the baby but this time, the sac is taking up a large part of my uterus and the baby is in a tiny little right hand side corner of that sac...and they didn't measure anything of significance. So, I know nothing except that there is a heartbeat. I am so nervous.

So, what yesterday did for me was remind me yet again how fleeting this is. I know there is a statistic that I've read before (oh about the last time I saw a heartbeat) that says that once you see a heartbeat on u/s that the risk of miscarriage goes down to 5%. I don't believe that statistic. I know for a fact that you can still lose a baby. In fact, when I was going through it I leared that most genetic defects kick in around week 8-9 so that is when most miscarriages as a result of genetic defects happen. This time, I didn't think I was being overconfident. I've been very hesitant about this pregnancy but deep down I still thought that things would turn out well. Yesterday shook that up. With one phone call all of our dreams came crashing down again. And this would be for the last time. It was a horrible feeling again. Now I am too aware how easily the rug can be taken out from under us again. I hate this. Why can't things just go smoothly? Also - and I knew I would feel this way- with us transferring 2 CGH normal embryos into a uterus that has proven it can get pregnant- I really really wanted both babies to make it. With only one in there I am scared to death that something went wrong with the other one and that means that something can go wrong with this one. I mean, what would stop that other one from implanting? They were both hatching! It just leaves me so nervous. again.

So I am happy. I keep thinking that there is a little heartbeat in there and it is growing well. But, I am oddly removed b/c I am so scared now again. I thought I'd feel better after seeing the heartbeat but given how yesterday happened, I don't feel better. I almost feel worse. I know I need to get over it. I just have this feeling that the rug is going to be pulled out again. Its horrible. I just want to be excited.

I had to add this. Okay, I got my new values for my HCG yesterday...this is why I still think there might be a twin hiding. It is 28,188. On the average for a singleton pregnancy HCG level on 29 dpo is 11, 369 and for a twin pregnancy is 25, 387. I also did that cool chart I found on JJ's site and here it is:

Are you guys with me on this? I know HCG doesn't mean much, but I mean, I'm higher than the average for twins! So, though I will be incredibly happy with one little full term healthy beautiful baby...I still have this feeling I have two. I guess time will, and a skilled u/s tech.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Surprise ultrasound

I had a really bad start to the day today. I went in this morning for a progesterone and estradiol test to my local RE's office. At about 12:30 I was shopping at the hallmark store for a card for a friend and got the call from CCRM about my bloodwork results. The nurse asked me nicely when my ultrasound was scheduled. I said Friday. She said she'd like me to go in early. So I said, what is wrong? were my levels bad? She said, well, we asked them to run e2 and p4 and instead they ran HCG and P4 and your HCG level is a little low. I started shaking. I said, how low is a little low? she said 592. I put the cards on the counter and made a dash for the car before I started crying right there. It took us a few minutes talking - because, for those of you who are unaware, that level of HCG at the date I am indicates that I don't have a baby at all or I lost the baby already - until I said, could they have taken the estradiol level and accidentally mislabeled it "hcg" on the fax? She said she'd call them and check and call me back. She did...I called Brett sobbing. She called back and told me that they aren't sure...and they will run my bloodwork again immediately including an HCG this time. I wasted no time in calling my local clinic and ordering an immediate u/s - CCRM wanted me to wait until tomorrow but I didn't care. They got me in at 1:30 at which time they said it was a mistake and my estradiol level was 592, not HCG...I still wanted the u/s. Well, folks, so far so good....

Unbelievably, it was supposed to be too early for a h/b but there it was- one beautiful h/b! I guess there is still a chance that there is another sac hidden behind that unusually large one (right?)...but so far, it looks like one super fast growing healthy baby! I'm a little saddened that we likely lost one...I really did get attached to both of my blasts this time...a little too attached...but I am thrilled with our big beautiful baby:-) Of course, the baby itself is tiny but the sac (and you can't see it on this scan) is like already 3/4 the size of my uterus. We got the oldest and worst u/s machine at the RE's office so we couldn't see much - couldn't even really find my ovaries - so I'm not saying much at this point - but there it is. Thank God. What started out as a horrible painful day turned beautiful.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family drama -major complaint post (warning)

Yesterday I get a call from my mom that my brother called her to tell her that my sister in law is pregnant again. Of course, since most of my family knew we were going to try IVF again (because I have to travel so far to do it), the entire family has been waiting for my SIL to be pregnant...she just can't handle the thought of others being pregnant. Each time she has gotten pregnant it was when friends or family members had just made big announcements. Its a desperate and annoying cry for attention and here it is again. I'm struggling with this. Its not like I think it takes away from our happiness (or stress) but that I am annoyed. I just didn't want to be pregnant at the same time as her - EVER. And, now it looks like she is likely just a few days behind me since they tend to call around with the good news whenever she pees on a stick and sees a positive. Its just that she turns everything into a competition.

When I miscarried in the fall, it was already almost 10 weeks by the time we found out that the heartbeat had stopped. It was horribly painful and I had to tell family members, who I had just informed that we were pregnant the week before, that we lost the baby. It was painful and mortifying. Well, within a few days I find out that this particular sister in law is very upset with me. She is angry and upset that I don't confide in her and I don't want to commiserate with her over miscarriages since she has had so, what? As far as I know (since she tells everyone immediately upon a positive hpt - wouldn't we know if she miscarried?), she has never miscarried. In fact, my brother actually asked me repeatedly why I don't want to talk to her about my m/c's...? Finally my brother confronted my mom with what a bad, miserable person I am b/c I don't want to talk to her about it and my mom asked my brother when she m/c'd? He said he didn't know. She said, had she already been to the doctor...he said, I don't think so...? She said, had she seen a heartbeat? He, no. She yelled at him for a minute and the affair was more talk about what a bitch I am because I miscarried and didn't want my sister in law's advice on how to cope with it because she is such an expert.

With her last baby, my mother was at the local hairdressers and the hairdresser said to her, "so I bet C's pregnant, huh?". My mom commented that she hadn't heard at all...and so she probably wasn't. The hairdresser said, "well, H is pregnant and they are friends, and you know how C is...I give it a few days at most, until there is an announcement". Literally, within the week my sis in law, C, had called us all to say she was pregnant...funny, right?

One more - unrelated to pregnancy...(I am so put upon, right?)

My brother and C got married by a justice of the peace before he left for Iraq. None of us knew about it before hand, they just sort of eloped. Well, after a few years, she heard I was going to get married since I sent out save the date cards for the date (june 3), she decided that she had never had a real wedding and she wanted one, so she went about planning it and picked her date- June 3, um of that same year. She went over to my mom's to share the good news that she picked a date and was starting to plan everything for June 3. My mom looked at her, said she thought the date sounded familiar, went to the fridge and saw our save the date card and said, but Sue already is getting married that day. C had a fit and stormed home to my brother crying that she had to change the date of their wedding. And, still, every year I get in trouble b/c I don't send an anniversary card - or I do, but only for the wedding I went to, not for the elopement day - should you send 2 when people get married 2x? crazy, right?

I give that example b/c it just highlights how everything has to be turned around to be about her. I'm not someone who typically likes a lot of attention. I just don't. I don't want positive or negative attention, I just want to live and be happy with my husband, my family and my dogs. Its just my nature...too much attention makes me a little nervous...she is the opposite, but you'd think that I would be non-threatening to her then right?

In any event, it gets worse. I told my mom that we were pregnant b/c she dog- and house-sat for us when we were in Colorado and I thought she should know since she knew exactly what we were going there for. However, I asked her to honor my wishes and not tell ANYONE about it. Since she has never miscarried, she doesn't fully understand why I am not just plain excited and shouting it from the rooftops now, but she said she'd honor my wishes. In particular, I asked her not to tell my dad...they are divorced but still talk...and I told her why. The reason is this - he is a decent guy but is an alcoholic. He was a terrible dad but, since we've grown up, he's gotten better with adult children. Well, when he gets drunk (aka, every day) he forgets that he tells people things and sometimes he forgets that he spoke to people or called them on the phone. So, he can't be fully trusted. He also really wants Brett and I to be happy so when he finds out we are pregnant, he wants to tell his family (sisters and brothers) whom I haven't spoken to in over 10 years. He also tells my brother and sister in law stuff that he doesn't remember. Well, as of this morning, my mom was talking to my dad about my brother's wife's pregnancy and she let it slip that we are pregnant. Why? I just don't know...she just let it out. Then she tried to backtrack and told him not to tell anyone (yeah, right). So, that is it. I'm stressed and miserable b/c my news will soon be on Reuters practically...everyone will know. Argh. Sometimes my family is just too much.

Anyway, since I started this blog to act as a journal and a source for getting out some of my stress...I had to post this. I am going to try to forget about it. I am also not going to talk to ANYONE about this pregnancy until 14 mid-August....and I pray every day I make it that far (buy why can't anyone else understand this?). So frustrating. Thanks for allowing me to vent.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lazy weekend

We had a great weekend. We got a ton of work done on Saturday, including a lot of gardening, so that our Sunday was totally relaxing. So, I have some fun garden pics to post- things are starting to grow really nicely, and then I have a few funny dog pics (my dog, Sherman's, indian name is Dances with Sprinklers). In any event, things here are going well. I'm a nervous wreck all the time. I am trying to stay calm but after the last beta symptoms come and go and when they "go" I get really really nervous. For now, I have huge bbs. Seriously, I started my 30's with an A cup, then proceeded into a B cup with all of the IF treatments and a few (quite a few) extra pounds as a result. Well, my painful bbs are now overflowing a generous C cup. So, um, ouch. Other symptoms include too much spit- yes, I'm now that creepy person who has to keep wiping the sides of her mouth b/c she has too much saliva. This is always my first pregnancy symptom, so I welcome it, but, YUCK!!!. Besides that, I've been getting up every night around 2:30-3:30 AM with a burning stomach and have to eat a few crackers and take a tums before I can settle back down and, as of this morning, brushing my back teeth in the morning has me dry heaving tooth paste. So, fun stuff, but at least it reminds me that my hormones are still climbing, which is what I was going for! Brett and I are excited and cautiously optimistic. I am also aware that I am taking my cautiousness to extremes since I don't want to buy anything in anticipation of pregnancy or babies at this point - I have even been refusing to buy new bras that fit - but I think Brett will be putting an end to that since he feels bad for me and thinks I am being crazy.

I am also hesitant about changing my plans to go to my sister in law's wedding in Mexico in July. I know that if we have one or two little heartbeats in there, I will probably cancel my part of that trip. I really want to go but I also understand CCRM's concerns over treatment in another country in the first trimester...and I'd only be about 8-9 weeks at that point (oh, about the same week as my last m/c happened). It's not flying that I (or they) are worried about. It is that, what will I do if I start bleeding while there? Here, I would call the RE and head to the nearest hospital and hope they could do something. There, I would hit the local doctor's shack? I have no I get and respect their concerns. Not to mention, I would again have to travel with huge needles and try to get CCRM to write me a note for the flight so that I can bring the needles on a trip they don't approve of...hmmmm.. Oh well, such is life. But...MEXICO!!!!

Okay, so here are some garden pics:
This is the front part of our garden. The first few rows are zuchini, the other really large row is broccoli and in the back you see cucumbers and tomatoes. Last year, our garden was so huge that the tomatoes grew over our 6 foot fence...but the cold weather and very wet conditions seem to have stunted their growth so far this year. Concerned but not too much so. They are still growing nicely, just not freakishly like last year.

A very pretty zuchini plant - I think we will soon get some flowers!

Here is the fun, colorful stuff in the front of the house. Our house NEEDS it! it is a very bland colored house which was a light yellow with ugly green trim when we got it. We've changed it to a light yellow with a white trim but had to add lots of colors in plants so that it continues to look homey.
And, here is my little big guy having a ball with the back yard sprinkler. I make sure to use the halfway broken one anyway, because he can destroy one in no time. So, we put it out yesterday afternoon when it was really hot out. He had so much fun -he ended up getting us all soaked.
I had a few more pics of Brett and I sitting out on the deck yesterday but my computer and camera thing is all out of whack. I have a kodak camera and the software that came with it sucks (it woud identify any picture of the same thing - even from a different angle - as the same picture and not download any "duplicates") so I took it off of the computer. Now, my computer won't recognize the camera at all and never even opens up the camera wizard, nor will I be able to locate the camera via usb port on "my computer" so I actually have to download the pics to my little bitty laptop, put them on a portable memory device and then move them over to my desktop - what a pain! I have to figure this all out. Oh well, should keep me busy for a while!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Second beta....and its goood:-)

I just got the call, my second beta is 577!!!! So, more than double in less than 48 hours!!!! What a relief! It was tested at the local RE's fixed lab so the labs are different but I doubt they'd be off by THAT much, you know? My nurse said I could go for one more on Friday if I was concerned about it but then she also said it was more than good enough for them and repeated beta tests can sometimes cause more stress than they are worth. So, I'm leaving it on a high note for now. However, I also asked to have my thyroid checked since I've been chilly lately and a friend of mine (thanks, Rose!) pointed out that I should check my TSH because hypothyroid makes you cold (why didn't I remember that?) and my TSH is a little high. My nurse is consulting with my RE about upping my dose and I'm awaiting another call.

Next Monday I have more hormone checks (E2 and P4) and then my ultrasound will be scheduled for the week of my birthday - which is the 27th (interject- oh, please, please, please let it be a good birthday gift!). I'm not going to broadcast the exact day of my ultrasound b/c I want to go and digest the results on my own and then post about it without too much pressure. Its hard to explain why I am so cautious...I just am. Though, I have a huge smile on my face from today's beta results!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009


I finally got my beta results, so on 10dp5dt, my beta is 214! Thats a pretty strong, healthy number for either one or two babies:-) So, no speculating! We'll know in a few weeks!!!

The results took forever. The local RE's office had a problem with their lab and had to send all bloodwork out to an outsourced lab which then didn't get the results back until late. The office here closes at 3:30 and by that time, they hadn't arrived but the nurses assured me they'd be open late AND ACCEPTING PHONECALLS LATE to accomodate all us poor people waiting for results. Well, at 4:30 I called ot check and nope, the phone lines were closed! Not only that, but the urgent care after hours answering service thing was also out of order (isn't that freaky?) so I was pretty sure we were SOL. But, luckily, there were still apparently people still there working b/c I got a call at about 5:30 from CCRM saying they got the results. However, they still didn't get the P4 levels, so my guess is that the lab forgot to do them, but the nurse was funny, she was like, okay, so the p4 numbers are coming what? next week? What a day!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I've been holding out on you!!!

I had to get around to posting this at some point. We got home from our trip on Tuesday at about noon. I had no symptoms at all. I was a wreck. Very very nervous. I had had a lot of belly pain all weekend, but, to be honest, I kind of attributed it to stress and IBS, and then Tuesday, NOTHING. I was so upset. Then about 5 pm, my bbs started to hurt! I was so excited. I immediately told Brett that I wanted to POAS. He said, "but it is so early! What if it comes back negative, will you be able to handle that...b/c you know it is early!?!" I said no, I would probably get upset, even though I know it is way too soon to see a positive home pregnancy test. Then, about 10 minutes later I said I didn't care and I wanted to take it and if it was negative, then I'd have to rationalize how early it is. Well, I took it, and there was a mirage of a second line. Brett said, "yup, I can see it - um, if I tilt it just so". Well, we continued to debate, me saying the usual, "a line is a line - its positive" and him not being so sure. So, he sent me to the corner Walgreens for another brand and 2 hours later I POAS'd again - this time on my trusty old EPT's. And, yup, another super faint line, this time making a pathetic little "+". We sat on the couch and said, okay, so 90/10 I am pregnant, lets not get too excited.

The next day, the line got darker and yesterday it was much darker. So, it is official, for the moment I am pregnant! I am happy and relieved but after all of what we have been through, you all know that we've lost the ability to get too crazy over a few positive HPTs. We've apparently also lost the ability to be confident in beta numbers or the ability to be confident when we go to this is going to be a rocky road. But, we've cleared the first hurdle. I wish we were still naive and just plain excited. But we are excited but cautious this time. We aren't really going to tell anyone until 14 weeks so those of you who know me outside of blogworld, please keep my secret. I know some of you really don't understand why it is a secret, because getting pregnant when you've tried this hard should be celebrated loudly, but you have to honor my wishes. We are trying to take this one day at a time and we will quietly celebrate each milestone in our own way.

My beta is scheduled for Monday. Oh - and since my first positive test was on Tuesday, or in IVF terms, 4dp5dt, um, we are hoping and thinking that maybe it is twins and both took! I know it is rare to get a positive that early so I think that is the general consensus that it is likely twins but we will be happy either way (and I think I just show hcg early b/c last cycle, I got my singleton positive on 7dp3dt, but they also think I started with 2 and went to 1 before the first ultrasound). I have some HPT pics (you guys know I can't resist this) but I didn't take a pic of the 4dp5dt one b/c I doubt very much that line would show up in a photo.

I am so relieved that I don't have to go into the old RE's office with a BFN. Nothing in the world could have stopped me from POASing before that beta - but I had really planned on waiting until Sunday to take a test (I know, I'm delusional about my own lack of control) and if it was negative, I was going to skip the old RE and go to Quest Diagnostics, lol. At least this way I can go into the old RE's and feel a little more confident!

So, without further ado:
As you can see 5dp5dt was taken with FMU and is really light. I'm not sure why my HCG shows up better in the evening, but it does. I'm also terrible at taking pics of these things b/c they just don't come in clear at all. But, you get the idea. It is getting darker and darker!
And, just a few friendly faces from Colorado! I know you girls who travel out there miss these cute litte guys! This was a field by one of the business parks and it was absolutely full of little baby prairie dogs, which I know are a local nuisance, but they are so cute I can't stand it!