Wednesday, December 31, 2008

All is Well

Sorry I have been so slack in posting, all is well so far with the babies. We had our second ultrasound on Monday, December 22nd. We saw “our” RE at this appointment and were very relieved after meeting with him. I have a small blood clot, which is what caused the heavy bleeding and I very well could see more. He was unconcerned about the clot and said our chance of miscarriage low, between 1-5%.

The babies were measuring on time and we saw a little bit of movement already from one baby, which is a great sign. I go back this Friday for my last ultrasound and visit to the RE. I am very much looking forward to seeing the progress of the babies though it will be bittersweet to “graduate” from our fertility clinic.

After the RE gave us the go ahead we announced the news to just about everyone over the holidays. I’m waiting a few weeks to tell my coworkers that we are pregnant. I’m hoping to hold out even longer on the twin announcement. I’m sure they will have doubts about my return from maternity leave when they get that tidbit. I’m planning to return to work but hope to work out a part-time schedule if they will allow it.

Next week I’ll see my OBGYN and I’m hoping to attend a Moms of Multiples Meeting. I’ve scheduled a tour of the maternity suites at the hospital for the week after. We’ve been busy reading up on multiple pregnancies and are getting exited to find out the sexes of the babies so we can plan the nursery.

I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It’s Official - Twins!

This will be long.

When I arrived at work yesterday I noticed some heavy bleeding. After a quick meeting I called my nurse and luckily was put right through. She got me in to see one of the doctors at 9 a.m. So, I hightailed it and was in the waiting room in no time. For once, I waited maybe 2 minutes. I swear they whisked me back in there almost immediately. All of the staff at the clinic kept asking me if it was the big day and unfortunately I had to tell them I was a day earlier than scheduled due to the bleeding.

Once I got into the exam room to change I realized the bleeding had seriously progressed and I started to lose it. We waited for my husband to arrive and once he was there the nurse grabbed him and brought him back. Everyone was so serious and fast paced that I felt something was very wrong.

The doctor started the ultrasound and showed me a healthy heartbeat and that the baby was measuring 6 weeks 6 days (right on schedule.) I was still so scared and crying that the nurse had to bring me a wad of tissues. He continued with the ultrasound and showed us the other sac and second heartbeat, it’s twins he said! Before I could even register that two babies were in there I kept asking if they were alive and healthy. Luckily the second baby was measuring 7 weeks 1 day, 2 days ahead!

So, after we calmed down we were told to meet the doctor in his office for further instructions. As we opened the door to the exam room, our whole team was waiting for us with hugs and congratulations! They all “knew” it was twins and were there to wish us well!

So, as of yesterday I am on modified bed rest until Monday due to the bleeding. Apparently bleeding is typical with twins but I was bleeding a little more than average. Luckily, it has subsided today so I’m a tad less anxious.

Lucky for them my husband is delivering a huge BBQ lunch to the office today. We’ve been promising everyone at the clinic that once we got good news we were going to cater lunch and luckily we both delivered on our promises!

I still cannot believe it!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Baby’s Bizarre Connection to Loni Anderson

Apropos of nothing I thought I would share a funny tidbit about our tentative due date. Because I am horrifically bad at (basic) math every few days I Google an IVF due date calculator to see how far along I am. It never ceases to amuse me that the calculator says my singleton due date of August 5 is the birth date of Loni Anderson.

I had an irrational obsession for the show WKRP in Cincinnati as a kid. Which is strange because upon googling I learned that the show ended when I was 4, surely I was watching the reruns in later years? Otherwise, how on earth could I possibly remember something like this? My dad is from Cincinnati and whenever we would visit I would keep my eyes peeled for the station on the show. I particularly loved the glamorous Loni Anderson. Here’s a clip of the opening credits, I still remember the tune!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beta #3 = 17,141

I went in for my third beta on Friday, 12/5. My nurse’s assistant called to let me know it came in at 17,141. She really didn’t say much else so I asked her if it was a good number. She kind of laughed and said it was very good and we should possibly be prepared for twins. In her opinion she said our likelihood of twins is 95%. Well, I reacted with a nice little expletive and then calmed down.

We are trying not to focus on this, because while the possibility is both thrilling and terrifying at the same time there is just no guarantee until our first OB ultrasound on 12/17. The wait until that appointment is not nearly as torturous as the two week wait but that little bomb she dropped is making it pretty damn difficult to not count the seconds. I even bumped our appointment back and hour so we could get in as soon as possible. Oh, and you can bet we will be there 15 minutes early.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hypocritical Shopping Bender - So Much for My Aforementioned Guilt

In August I bought a jersey, cowl-neck, cap-sleeved dress in black at Wal-Mart for $12.50. I went back the next day and bought it in pink, purple, gray and garnet. Until recently, those are the last items of clothing I have purchased.

Let’s just say, I have reigned in my clothes shopping dramatically since my college and newly post-college days.

Even still, I couldn’t resist some recent purchases for some past season dresses and tops. I realize now this was more than a little bit indulgent since I ordered these before I got my BFP. However, I am a huge fan of the quality and fit of CK Bradley’s pieces and couldn’t resist these amazing deals. They just came in and I have no regrets!

Adorable dress for Spring 2010, I suppose:

I can totally wear this with tights and a cardigan right now, and it's a little big so I may be able to get away with it in March at the Carolina Cup:

Cute tops for work or weekend (also a little big):

I wasn’t entirely selfish; I did pick up a ribbon belt for my sister in law’s birthday:

As much as I love the print, you couldn’t pay me to wear ‘em:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

State of Denial

While I’m incredibly grateful for our positive result from our IVF cycle I’m in a state of denial. I just do not feel like this is actually happening to us. I have almost no symptoms which could be cause for worry or rejoicing. Over the weekend my mom and I visited baby stores and my husband and I started researching pregnancy books. Mom took measurements of the nursery and my in laws generously offered purchasing our crib. All the while I have just been feeling like I am in a daze and that this is too good to be true. The pessimist in me keeps waiting for something to happen. It just seems inevitable considering all the lengths we went through to get here. Since we were pretty open about our infertility many people have asked the results of our beta. We have told so many people our news so early that it really makes me anxious. I hate that I’m not enjoying this but I’m just too careful for my own sanity. I feel guilty for even whining like this. If I were reading this post on someone else’s blog a few months ago it would make me angry.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap & Beta #2

I went in this morning for blood work for our second beta. Our number more than doubled to 523! I don’t think I mentioned this before but I had been having some troubling bleeding. It was troubling only to me as my nurse was never concerned. It seems to be subsiding which is a relief. Today I stopped using the estrogen patches but am maintain the prometrium. I go in for blood work again next Friday and it will be at that visit that we schedule our first ultrasound.

In other news, I am still exhausted from Thanksgiving. I had originally planned for a total of 10. On Sunday, 10 turned to 12. On Tuesday, 12 turned to 13. Finally, on Thursday (Thanksgiving itself) 13 turned to 14. We had lots of family and my husband’s best friend, which really was fantastic. Dinner went over well with the slight exception of my cheddar chive biscuits. I am just not a baker. We had everyone over again today for leftovers that I think will probably be gone after our third round.

My cousins are all visiting from various (much more cosmopolitan) cities and are smitten with our city and have gotten a kick about the various friends and neighbors that have been dropping by. A friend of my husband’s is in the landscaping business and has started selling Christmas trees this season. He pulled up on our street this afternoon and we picked out our tree from his trailer. He trimmed it, put it in the stand and brought it into my living room!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Amazing News!

My beta today was 178! I don’t know very much about betas but I’m told it’s “a good, strong number.”

I couldn’t wait (shocking) and tested positive Monday night and today but didn’t want to post until I had a number. I have been having a lot of bleeding which has been scary but my nurse has reassured me it’s OK.

I have a funny video of me telling my husband the news. He was half asleep and I woke him up to show him the test.

Today my family came for the holiday and we were able to tell them the news in person. Tomorrow my in laws come and we are looking forward to telling them. The only draw back to “coming out” to your friends about infertility is you have to spill the beans so early because of course everyone is asking. I can’t complain because our friends have been family have shown us wonderful support.

Today we are four weeks and should be due August 5, 2009. I am so excited but am still very cautious. It still doesn’t seem real.

Monday, November 24, 2008

7DP5DT - 2WW Hell

Well, I’m 7 days past my 5-day transfer and I’m slowly going insane. If I were to POAS it would likely be accurate. But, I’m not going to do it.

During the 2WWof IVF #1 my mom and I were on a long weekend in NY. It was great because I was completely distracted and hardly ever thought about testing. Unfortunately, my period came in full force unlike any other period I have ever had. It was awful. We were at my mom’s friend’s apartment/gallery and I probably went to the bathroom every 6 minutes. Then I would step into a bedroom and call my IVF nurse for her advice. When it became apparent there was no way I was pregnant, we went to lunch. During, lunch I stepped outside onto the streets of Soho to call DH. I broke down in tears and wept on the street, it was so hard to be away from him. I was pretty numb the rest of the trip.

FET #1 wasn’t nearly as dramatic. I just tested like a mad woman and got continuous BFN’s. Since my beta was a weekday we went home at lunch to get the call. When we got the confirmed negative I busted out a bottle of wine, had a glass, and then went back to work.

On Wednesday my mom, dad and brother will be in town. We can’t decide where we want to get the call. DH will be working and I will be off for the day with a houseful of family. I’m thinking we could meet at a park and just wait for the phone call together. We’re not sure yet.

I have two days of work this week (whee!) and a lot to get done. I don’t know how I’m going to be able face my boss at our weekly meeting because I just cannot concentrate and my projects have piled up.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hello, Estrogen

All this free time on my hands today (hello two posts in one day) has me really overanalyzing things. I ran to Target this afternoon and surprise, found myself in the family planning aisle. I lingered for a few minutes debating on whether or not to pick up a test. I thought better of it and got the hell out of dodge.

I had the tiniest bit of spotting today, which of course, led me to think my period is coming. I am 5dp5dt and there is definitely some action in my right lower abdomen. I’ve been feeling a little bit of cramps and sharp pulling/pinching. Nothing too painful, just noticeable.

Also, I started my Vivelle patches yesterday. I think the surplus of estrogen kicked in pretty quickly because I found myself tearing up not once but twice yesterday. I’m more than a little ashamed that it was this Rachel Ray show that brought on the tears.

Alternative to Peeing On A Stick – You Tube

I took 15 years of ballet and jazz and this video makes me want to get off my a** and back into dance (but not necessarily a leotard).

This You Tuber’s version is totally making me smile and keeping me distracted from devilish home pregnancy tests.

PS – I realize I am no internet pioneer having just discovered both of these this week.

PPS - I would be lying if I told you I haven’t been scheming of creative ways to tell my husband I’m pregnant on Wednesday. I'm even thinking about videotaping it, but I won't be posting it to You Tube. I just don’t want to think about the possibility of getting bad news on beta day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sad Economic Times

I know my post title is stating the obvious here but I was a little down yesterday after visiting a nearby nursery that was having a going out of business sale within two years of their opening. Every time I bought something from them the owner would send me a handwritten thank you note. I was probably one of their lowliest customers, but it seems he took the time to do that for everyone no matter what they spent. Within walking distance of my house an earth friendly spa has closed since opening last fall as has an Italian restaurant, a BBQ restaurant and a seafood restaurant. Another nursery not from me is also closing. I wouldn’t say I frequented these places but I have been a patron at least once or twice.

On top of all of the devastating news about neighborhood business closings I found out my favorite home décor magazine is shuttering. I have literally saved every copy of this magazine since I first picked up it's inaugural issue. Of course, I save them with intentions to tear out favorite ideas to add to my "dream home" binder full of tear sheets. Um, I haven't touched that binder since maybe October 2007. I'm a hoarder/procrastinator in that way.

I sometimes feel guilty for spending thousands on these treatments when these economic times are so trying.

So sad!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Great News – 2 Frozen Embryos!

We found out this morning that our remaining 2 embryos did make it to freeze. They were given a 50/50 chance. They are both grade 4AA which is pretty much perfect! This means that if this cycle doesn’t work we can try a Frozen Embryo Transfer (like we did in June). I’m so relieved!

Bed rest is going pretty well. My mom has been a busy bee getting the house ready for Thanksgiving next week and I’ve gotten an early start on my Christmas cards.

Monday, November 17, 2008

5-Day Embryo Transfer Today

Today we transferred 1 4AA blastocyst embryo and 1 4BB blastocyst embryo. Tomorrow we find out if our remaining 2 blasts will make it to freeze for a future treatment. The transfer went very smoothly thanks in large part to the Valium I took and the great medical staff at our clinic. Today “our” doctor performed the transfer, which I appreciated. You never really know which doctor you will see for each procedure. In fact, our retrieval was performed by our former doctor who oversaw our previous cycles. Though unlikely, hopefully the dreaded two-week will go by quickly. I have a big work event this week and of course a short week next week which should be distracting. I’m going to do my best to avoid pregnancy tests, we’ll see about that.

Since I’m on bed rest I have been playing around (again) with our Thanksgiving menu. Tonight we are trying this recipe to see if it’s worthy of next week’s celebration.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fertilization Report – 9 Embryos

For some reason I have been in a funk ever since we got yesterday’s fertilization report. We have 9 embryos which is 2 more than we had with our first fresh cycle. With our first cycle we had 3 embryos make it to perfect blasts and obviously none of them resulted in pregnancy. I’m definitely grateful but for some reason I thought this cycle would be overwhelmingly different than the last. Maybe it’s best to be cautious so that it will be that much more exciting when we get our positive beta. I’m still pretty sore from the ER and driving around downtown with uneven roads and speed bumps isn’t particularly helpful. Yesterday I had a constant headache which thankfully has disappeared. Let’s hope today I cheer up and get over myself.

Perhaps I should resume obsessing over Thanksgiving or even Christmas. I already have my bedside table stocked with magazines, books and even my Christmas cards to write while on bed rest. Oh, and I’m thinking about finally getting around to finishing my wedding album, 4 years later. Who am I kidding; I’ll probably end up watching re-runs of 90210 and Law Order for the 48 hours of bed rest.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

18 Eggs Retrieved Today

Our doctor retrieved 18 eggs this morning. Last cycle we retrieved 13 so this is definitely an improvement. He said it looked like I had a very good cycle, which is reassuring. Beta is scheduled for Wednesday, November 26th on the day before Thanksgiving. Tomorrow afternoon the clinic will call with our fertilization report. The doctor expects that I will have a 5-day transfer on Monday, we’ll know for certain on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No News is Good News

Embryo retrieval will be tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. This means no food or water after midnight tonight. Going without water will kill me because anyone that knows me knows I am a water hog with my pink water bottle always at my side.

My IVF nurse sent me an encouraging e-mail out of the blue which really made me happy. Usually I am hounding her for an answer to a question but this was just a note of support from her.

Yesterday’s levels looked good and we did the trigger shot last night at 9:30 p.m. (my bed time these days). I went in this morning for my last round of blood work. The nurse had a difficult time today and had to prick me twice and call in for reinforcement, swell.

Yesterday I was told that no news is good news so I shouldn’t expect to hear from the clinic today.

I’ll post tomorrow with how many eggs were retrieved.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Egg Retrieval Wednesday

I have spent the last three mornings at my clinic for ultrasounds and blood work. Saturday’s follie check measured 17 and Sunday’s measured 23. No word yet on this morning’s visit but egg retrieval is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday. I’ve been steady at 250 IU of follistim and had a bit of a freak out on Friday night when I realized I was almost out of the liquid gold. Luckily, a good friend was in my neighborhood and I met her to pick up her leftover follistim from her successful IVF on Saturday. Thank goodness for donated medication, such a blessing!

The longer we are in this fight the more I realize how many of us there are. At Thursday’s appontment my husband ran into a former colleague and his wife. I’ve lost count of the people we know that we have come across at the clinic. I know several co-workers, acquaintances, friends and friend’s of friends who are suffering from infertility and are undergoing or have been through various types of treatments.

On Friday my husband catered an event for a local adoption group that deals exclusively with kids from Russia. Coincidentally, on Sunday we ran into one of the families and their two little boys on a grocery run. If this IVF doesn’t work (it will, right?) then I am may take this as a sign.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Follie Check & Kitchen Inspiration

Yesterday morning we went in for another round of blood work and an ultrasound. You know you have been in this game too long when you are introducing yourself new employees at the clinic. We found 9 follies at yesterday’s ultrasound and will be back Saturday morning for another visit. My follistim dosage is remaining at 250 IU.

I’m weaning myself off my crutches and am taking it slow when I walk. I’m planning on driving myself to work this morning for the
first time all week. It’s been a busy and newsworthy week; we’re very ready for the weekend!

On a home decor note, I'm loving the November/December issue of Cottage Living. This kitchen makeover is fantastic and looks relatively doable as far as renovations go. I would love to replace our sink and countertops, raise our cabinets, add subway tile and get creative with hardware as this homemeowner did.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Does it Get Any Better Than This?

After a couple of Halloween parties and a girl’s night out in Charlotte, NC I ended the weekend with a (sober) slip down some stairs. It’s really the icing on the cake to an already stressful time for us.

I’ve sprained both ankles a few times and have lost count of which foot and how often. Luckily I have a set of crutches and my husband made a CVS run to stock up on a new brace, an ice wrap and some magazines. I can only imagine how standing in line at the polls will go tomorrow. Since the media is reporting record turnout (and lines) we are planning on going early and bringing folding chairs.

After this morning’s blood work we found out my estrogen level is 85, which is low. My doctor decided to aggressively increase my follistim dosage tonight from 187 to 250. Lupron and HCG will remain at 10 IU respectively.

My husband is having a tough time remembering to take his doxycycline with food. He already has a bit of a weak stomach, which is a bad combination with antibiotics on an empty stomach. I think he might have learned his lesson the hard way this morning, let’s just say it wasn’t the most pleasant ride in to work. Things can only go up from here, right?

Please excuse my lack of pedicure, it is November after all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Treat: Stims!

Yesterday’s blood work and ultrasound were uneventful which is a good thing. This morning we combined the 10 units of lupron with 10 units of HCG for a new daily shot mix. Husband also started taking his doxycycline this morning, which he will take twice a day until our embryo transfer.

Today starts day one of stims. While we’re handing our candy to trick or treaters we’ll be prepping our follistim pen to 187 IU and doing our first injection (this cycle) sometime between 5-8 p.m. tonight.

Last night we “carved” our Halloween pumpkins. And by carved I mean drilled polka dot holes a la Eddie Ross. Below are the photos from Eddie’s blog that inspired our versions which I will post later tonight.

Looking forward to sitting by the fire, eating roasted pumpkin seeds and cooking the butternut squash husband brought home – what a perfect fall night.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Momentary Obsession: Thanksgiving

As newlyweds in the fall of 2004 we were keen to host Thanksgiving at our house. Luckily we have held onto this tradition and this time each year I become obsessed with planning my menu. This is also the time of year my husband becomes obsessed with building a fire at the first hint of a chill in the air. We have a hilariously huge stack of firewood which is used oh, two months out of the year.

Our first Thanksgiving I pretty much lazily delegated the whole meal to my husband, parents and in laws while posing for "Our First Thanksgiving" photos with my pearls and monogrammed apron around the table and in the kitchen. On our second Thanksgiving I actually cooked a little while my husband fried the turkey. Last year we were thrilled to include my aunt, uncle and cousins who joined us from their four respective cities in our new house. This year there will be 10 of us again snuggled tightly around our dinner table.

Next weekend I go to Charlotte for a girl’s trip which will include a visit to Trader Joe’s for some pantry treats. I estimated that my beta (pregnancy test) should fall right before Thanksgiving which could make for a very uplifting or rather depressing holiday season pending the results. Anyways, below are two recipes that I am currently mulling over.

Baked Spinach and Gruyère

Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Here We Go Now

Since my last post we switched doctors within our practice and have been very happy so far. I turned 30 and we spent a long weekend celebrating with friends and many bottles of wine in the mountains. We also celebrated our four year wedding anniversary. I have joined a neighborhood gym and have lost a few pounds doing a half-a**ed attempt at Weight Watchers.

Recently we have started openly talking about our fertility problems with friends (particularly under the influence of the aforementioned wine). We had originally planned to start IVF #2 in November but due to the embryology team’s holiday schedule and annual conference (affectionately known as Beerfest!) we were told it would need to be October or January.

The HSG procedure was not fun. In order to verify I have no blockages in my tubes the catheter had to be inserted 3 times due to my uncooperative cervix, ouch. Luckily the RE gave me an A+ and found no blockages or other problems. Friday we went in for this cycle's first ultrasound and my lining appears to be looking swell. Lupron started this morning and I have a nice bruise on my stomach as a not so gentle reminder.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Spoon Full of Sugar

Since we are on a break from fertility treatments I think it is high time to whip myself into shape. As fantastic as acupuncture was in preparation for our FET it was mad expensive. So, I'm trying other alternative remedies so to speak.

Monday night I trotted into Whole Foods to pick up some wheatgrass powder. Tuesday morning I nearly choked downing a glass of water mixed with one tablespoon. The taste is less than delicious and doesn't quite go away until after lunch. Yum. Today fared better when mixed with OJ. Monday I plan to join the gym and really kick this health kick into high gear.

Until then I'm finishing off the loads of extra cheese and M&M's left over from our weekend of entertaining. This weekend will be full of po' boys, beignets and other New Orleans treats while in the Big Easy for a wedding. I've got 5 days left of gluttony until the ax is dropped on my free wheeling eating and exercise habits.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bad News

Well our blood test came back a few hours ago and it was negative. We will hopefully be taking a break from fertility treatments. In a few months we may pursue another round of IVF or adoption.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Phantom Pains and Pretend Vacations

Today I started noticing a dull sensation on the right side of my pelvis. I contacted my IVF nurse who assured me it is likely to be one of two things. It's either congestion from all of the estrogen I am taking or implantation spasms. Of course, I'm not getting my hopes up for the latter but it would certainly be perfect if it were the case.

I'm going to tweak this blog for a while before I share it with anyone. I hope once it’s out in the open it will encourage friends, family (and potential readers?!?) to be forthcoming about their struggles as well as receptive to learning about infertility. I have been a bit superstitious in that until we have a confirmed pregnancy I would rather be private about this. The few people who know about our difficulties have been extraordinarily supportive for which I could not be more grateful.

To keep myself distracted, the Type A in me has begun a bulleted list of potential vacation destinations (including handy links!) It includes links to dream cottages in Thailand, Turks and Caicos, Italy, Mexico and more. I’m dropping heavy hints for a 30th birthday celebration in an exotic locale. If all goes well, I’ll have to save the champagne for birthday 31!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cozy In Little One

After unsuccessfully transferring two high quality embryos during our first IVF we were left with one equally high quality embryo left to freeze. With the help of our reproductive endocrinologist, an embryologist, a nurse, an ultrasound tech and an acupuncturist we transferred our lone embryo yesterday through a process called a frozen embryo transfer. At one point there were a total of six people in the room all tasked with knocking me up. Today I am on my second day of bed rest, anxiously riding out the dreaded "two week wait". On July 2 we find out the official results of our efforts. For the time being we are assuming the best while subconsciously preparing ourselves for the worst.