my Self

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Fort St John, BC, Canada
My husband, David, and I had been trying to have a baby since November of 2007. After 'letting things happen', we got the amazing news that we were pregnant in June of 2008. Sadly, that pregnancy ended at 9 weeks with a natural miscarriage. After two more chemical pregnancies, we turned to fertility treatments in 2009. That decision was a disaster, with lousy medical care and poor monitoring. In December of 2009, we made the huge decision to move onto IVF. Things fell into place like magic and we began treatment on January 15, 2010. After a blighted ovum in March, we did a successful FET in June, only to endure another blighted ovum in July. We kept up and underwent another IVF in September/October of 2010 with the arrival of our son, Brogan in July of 2011! After our lovely success (finally) we decided to undertake yet another IVF treatment and hope for a sibling for our little red headed boy. Well... so far it's worked. Our story continues below!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Okay.  Guess I'd better update.  Either someone will be amused by reading it or I'll want to look back a year from now and see what was happening at this exact day in my life.  

I have a few moments to myself.  Avoiding work for the first time since I got home on the 18th.  I even went in for six hours yesterday when it was my day off.  Ah well... it's not like I am lifting crates.   It's the mental stress of being at work that is difficult for me, even without the natural and artificial hormones raging through my body.  I shouldn't say difficult.  I love my business and the people there, it's that sometimes it feels like an atomic bomb has been dropped in the store, when huge orders arrive, customers and lined up and staff are requesting my attention so they can go on with their tasks.  All in all it's a wonderful frenzy.  When I'm distracted and hormonal with the pregnancy it's just a frenzy.  *laugh*

I'm not having much in the way of symptoms.  My back is super sore today which is usually a pregnancy sign, but I had a scare yesterday.  I was walking across a nearly deserted parking lot, head down, not paying attention, reading a text from my husband.  Out of the corner of my eye I caught backup lights from a white mini-van.  Although it was at least three feet from hitting me, and the driver slammed on the brakes in plenty of time, I was very startled.  I jumped.  I twisted and jumped.  The driver, a very nice woman I know as a customer and casual friend, seemed to have backed up as a joke... or at least covered not seeing me by making a joke out of it.  I wrenched my back and was pretty pissed off... considering I am not supposed to making sudden movements or even lift a ten pound package of hamburger meat.  

So of course, I don't know if my sore back is from the twisting and jerking action from yesterday, or if it's a pregnancy symptom.  I only get back pain when I am pregnant.  No other time... but now I can't even enjoy it.   And some small part of me niggles away, asking if something happened as a result of that jumping and tension.  You know.  Something not good.

Yesterday, on impulse, I bought another FRER and took it.  The test line literally turned dark before the sample passed all the way across the window.  It was dark well before the control line faded in!  I hate this part.  The waiting.  There are tiny bits of doubt chewing away at the edges of my sanity.  Wondering if things are okay, still.  

I can't understand why they won't give me an early ultrasound.  Honestly.  I'm not a burden on the system.  I'm self pay for crying out loud.  The only thing I use the medical system for is processing my blood tests and about two measly ultrasounds per cycle.  I pay for my meds, I pay for my trips, I pay for my doctors.   Why can't they spring for one lousy ultrasound in addition to the one I get at 7 weeks.  I know it's not the money, our medical system is just amazing.  It's that the doctors can't justify it when there may not be a heartbeat yet.  Which is bogus because the heartbeat if often seen at just under 6 weeks.  Often.  At the very least we'd see a yolk sac and fetal pole.  We'd see something if there were something there to see.  

I do feel good about things, but I've felt good before, and no matter how positive my mental attitude is, and it is very positive, it would be inhumane to think a woman can walk the road I've walked and not be wary of the turns ahead.  

So it's frustrating to know that the answer is a ten minute appointment with an ultrasound machine.  I'm going to see my doctor on Tuesday.  I'm going to ask him for a standing order for beta tests so I can go get a blood draw whenever I want, and I'm going to ask him for a requisition for an early 6 week ultrasound.  I know we won't see a lot.... but we should see something.  My little something.  My big little something.  

I kind of have a running tally in my head of what my hcg would be.  It was 351 at 16dpo so if it just doubles it would be over 700 yesterday, about 1100 today and over 1400 tomorrow... Crazy I know but honestly, I love thinking about it.  I'm not concentrating on July yet or anything beyond that one ultrasound.  And that heartbeat.  Thump.  Thump. A hundred times a minute.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

16dpo Beta Results

Was happy happy to get my results today... 351!  Too cool.  Honestly.  That's like... way way over my last pregnancies.  I am not raging with symptoms but honestly, I don't feel like I should be.  I am only 4.5 weeks along and symptoms typically don't kick in until 6 weeks.  I mean, I'm exhausted.  I'm experiencing round ligament pain, and I am a tad moody.... moody and happy.  Together.

2nd Beta Today

Will be updating my blog as soon as we get the numbers!  I have to admit I feel a little bad about the title of the last post - I was in a quirky kind of mood.

I'm anxious and excited about my beta today.  I went and checked the last two betas and they were only 62 and 54 at the same point - 14dpo!  I know I remember being pretty worried, but they slowly grew and so I put my fears aside, or tried to.

This time I'm really hoping we're getting higher numbers and better doubling times.

I am having exceptionally strong round ligament pains, which is freaky for so early in the pregnancy.  At night if I roll over or stretch in the morning, I am in such pain that I actually gasp and freeze my movements until I can slowly work the muscles into submission.  Even if I am bent over a project at work and stand up suddenly I am forced to slow down and move with caution.  I'm hoping this is a good sign.

By the way, my current beta numbers are in the highest category for those women who went on to have successful single pregnancies.  My numbers are also in the second highest category for women who went on to have successful twin pregnancies.  Yikes.  I'd rather have one super healthy baby than two who might struggle.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Over.

My obsession to pee on a home pregnancy test.  I didn't even do it today, not even once.  Maybe it's because it was my beta day.  And we got great results.  Way better than last time.  137.8.  I'm kind of just saying 138 because it was so close.

So our beta today was 138.   As far as numbers go, my clinic considers 50 to be pregnant, but barely.  100 on beta day is excellent news. Did I mention that we got 138?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Groundhog Day

Sometimes things happen over
over until you learn something.
David and I spent our one day off working like crazy.  We work a lot this time of year and it's important that we do what we can to keep our domestic life somewhat normal.  As in laundry, food in the fridge and clean sheets.  We got a ton of stuff done, and are both off to work again very early in the morning.  I've been working hard this week and need to take it a bit easier.  Not physical stuff, but just really long hours and I really should be going home for a while or at least early once in a while.  I hate taking my progesterone at work - public bathrooms just aren't the place I feel warm and fuzzy in while poking pills up my yahoo.  

While we made dinner together, we talked about the pregnancy... and how we've gone through this part over and over.  Kind of like that movie "Groundhog Day", with Bill Murray.  It's all the same thing, pregnancy test is positive, lines are darkening, beta number one, beta number two... etc. etc.  Eventually something changes though.  Eventually the story continues, though.  Eventually something different happens.  We're hoping with all we got that this is our new ending to the same old story.  We're hoping we've learned whatever lesson we needed to move on from 'wanting' to 'having'.

Letting whatever will be just wash over
me and finding gratitude whether or not
I get what I think I want.

I'm still really honestly not freaking out.  I'm surprising myself, actually.  It's easy to say I'm going to relax but another thing to actually do it when there is literally a life hanging in the balance.  The life of this baby that's currently growing inside me.  But I've really accepted that I do not have any control over this baby.  Not even when it's just a tiny speck of cells buried deep within my womb; completely surrounded by my energy, my blood, my flesh - not even then do I have any control over that life.  Already it is independent of me while still so intimately connected.  And accepting that has made this part.... livable.  It's not torture this time.

I felt so guilty the first time we miscarried.  I had worked two sixteen hour days back to back in the hot sun, knowing I was pregnant.  I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for that, but I do accept that it happened and there's nothing I can do to change it.    Not just accept what happened, but I feel I've also surrendered to what may be.  Whether it's a warm, squirmy, cooing baby in eight months or miscarriage after miscarriage, I surrender to it.  It's the experience that is important, not getting what I think I want.

3Weeks, 5 Days Pregnant

A photo is worth a thousand words!

oops.  our weekly countdown will be on the tuesday of every week - not sunday!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

11dpo - 6dp5td The Saga Continues

And so does the good news!  This evening I tested again and the line is darker... and for the first time I got a line on those lousy internet cheapie tests.  It's not a glaring line, and it's not appearing the same time as the control, but it's totally there and totally darkening.  This is the first time I am looking forward to my beta, and the first time I am looking forward to my ultrasound.  I didn't run to my doctor for an early beta, and I'm not obsessing about getting an early ultrasound.  I feel like I'm going to have a baby.

I'm not throwing up all day, but I do feel queasy from time to time.   I'm a wee bit overemotional, but not sobbing like a mad woman.  I'm a bit tired, but not to the point where I am yawning all day.  My breasts ache, but don't throb with pain.  So yes, there are some symptoms, but I'm not worried at the least about not being overwhelmed with them - I mean, I'm barely pregnant!  There's barely any hormone in my system, I shouldn't be sick yet.

My clinic usually does first ultrasounds at about seven weeks, around November 10th.  Beta is on the 26th, Tuesday... and then another on Thursday the 28th.  Yay!

Friday, October 22, 2010

10DPO - 5dp5dt - BFP!

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!!!!  Photo taken in just under four minutes... 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

9DPO - 4dp5dt

And I'm testing.  And testing.  It's the most fun part of this entire process!  At least.. when you get something to ponder and photograph.  Which I do.

I took the first test at 7dpo.   Yes, there was a tiny thin line that took forever to show up.  Obviously the trigger shot, but very faint and knowing how the trigger metabolizes, it was not going to stick around for long.  That was 9 days past the trigger.  The trigger is supposed to be out of your system after ten days.... that's the longest all the websites say, so I think it's pretty safe to say that ten days is an acceptable timeline.

So I took another test at 8dpo (yesterday), and hmmmm.... there was another line.  Okay.  This is a bit early for a bfp, but perhaps it's a very early bfp crossing over a very late trigger...?  Could happen?

Today I am 11 days past the trigger.. and got another line.  Definitely stronger than the lines before.  So here's my very first HPT Junkie Photo.  I won't post anymore unless there are lines.  Don't get me wrong... of all the people out there, I don't need your tsk tsk'ing of disapproval for me getting my hopes up, or testing too early.  As I've said - this is fun for me and I want to squeeze every bit of possible joy out of every bit of goodness possible.

Oh yeah, and there are some symptoms.  I'd like to rip my breasts off my chest and toss them into the kitchen garbage pail.  I did rip my husband's head off last night when he came in from the pipeline for a romantic evening with me.  I said I was sorry, carefully sewed it back on, and then promptly ripped it off again.  Yay for me.  Happy little pregnant lady.  Just glowing at times like that. 

Hey, I've been pregnant four times.. or is it five... in the past three years, so I know the rug can fly out from underneath me in a whisper's wink.  That's why I have my hands on the hallway rug and have my hands firmly placed on the wall.  I'm solid.  I'm prepared. I'm ready for a pregnancy and maybe that's what makes me emotionally stable enough to deal with not getting one.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2dp5dt - 7DPO

What does 2dp5dt mean?  What does DPO mean?  If you don't speak 'fertility' let me translate.

2dp = 2 days past
5dt = 5 day transfer... the '5' refers to how old the transfers are.... in this case, ours were five days old
dpo = days past ovulation

You'll notice that the 2 and the 5 equal 7, hence the 7dpo..... it's a little easier for some women who are following to have the timeline pointed out in both terms.

So, there you go, a lil' lesson on fertility-speak.  Now that you know what it means, want to know what it means?

It means, quite simply, that we are getting really close to seeing if this thing worked.  I've always gotten a real bfp (big fat positive) by 9dpo. 

One really horrible time after an IUI, I tested at 9DPO and it was positive.  I was so excited... then realized it just 'might' be the hcg trigger.  I tested again at 10DPO and it was totally white.  Ugh.  Like I needed that self-imposed kick in the gut.    So after that I learned to test out the trigger.  That's fertility talk for taking a pregnancy test early on a daily basis so you see the line fade away as the hcg leaves your system.  

If the lines comes back, you're pregnant.  If it doesn't, you never were.  Isn't there a quote that goes something like that?  

As far as feeling anything, I'm not feeling anything except hunger.  That's about all that's different - I'm hungrier than I usually am.   

Well, there is something that is different.  Still different all the way through this.  I'm not obsessing.  I forget to update my blog.  I forget that I just had an IVF.  I'm not googling everything related to IVF, and I'm not waking up in the middle of the night wondering if things are going good down there.  I'm not worried about it.  I don't mean to sound harsh or uncaring.  I am thrilled with the idea of a healthy pregnancy and raising a child, but I am tired with wanting it so endlessly.  It's exhausting.

I realize that what's so different is that I'm done 'wanting' so badly.  It's not something I want to experience anymore.  I am going to enjoy the experience for what it is no matter where it takes me; I'm going to gasp and laugh with the highs and let my stomach sink with the lows, but no matter what I am going to feel, above all, the thrill of it all. 

I will feel disappointment and worry when a cool shadow of question falls across my face.  I'll feel the hot surge of hope deep in my stomach when a whisper of hope whirls through world.  There will be moments of sweet, tangy anticipation and breathless, cold moments of dread, but I am finished with the empty, numb feeling of want.  And I am grateful for the ride, so very, very grateful.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Samosas and Babies

I am now "pregnant until proven otherwise" or "PUPO" in the IVF/fertility world.  Today the doctors placed three beautiful embryos into my awaiting uterus and I couldn't be happier.  Although David wasn't able to be there with me, my long time girlfriend was there, and when she asked if she could come into the operating room with me, I was both surprised and deeply thankful. 

She donned the gown, cap and booties and shared one of the most amazing experiences of my life with me.  So much better when you have a loved one there to witness something so sacred.  She was actually a little choked up about it, as was I, of course.  

There were only two transfers this morning, so the clinic was lazy and dim, very peaceful... I hadn't drank enough water to fill my bladder.  Last time I did this I was cramping so bad from having to pee that my stomach was literally contracting and my back was enduring spasms.  Not. This. Time.  This time, I drank only until they told me it was just right, and then was able to endure the 15 minutes of flat on my back stillness without much difficulty.  

I fly home tomorrow evening.  This trip has been very, very different for me.  Life has been much more full these past few months, with my determination to stop obsessing about wanting a baby.  I've truly needed the time with my girlfriend more than I could ever have imagined.  Lately, my female relatives and I have had a bit of a regression (to put it mildly) in what were already strained and painful relationships.... mostly since my sister passed away.  

Being with a female friend, someone who loves my company, enjoys long deep conversations, depends on my opinion and is quick to give me hers.... A friend who has me in her home, insists on me taking her lovely, serene bedroom, but loves to come in with hot chai tea, just talking or reading together... whom I've been able to browse bookstores with and explore restaurants with, whom shared her secret recipes and wrote down mine, whom is so totally honest with me and whom cares so much for what I am experiencing and praying for...  Well... this two weeks has been deeply emotionally healing and enjoyable in more ways than I can count.  

Sisters are not just people you are related to.

Anyhow... along with the rebirth of a very treasured friendship, I am greatly anticipating another birth that will take place sometime in June or July of 2011... 

We transferred three gorgeous embryos... a 3AA, 3AB and a 2AB, with five more going to freeze.  That's one more than last cycle, so yeah for us!  The doctor started to do the whole "are you sure you want to transfer three" and I said "Yes, we ARE sure"... and that was that... he said he thought it was a good idea as well, although he did say there was a good chance of all three sticking.  We'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

Tomorrow brings a final lazy day of doing nothing in one of the most beautiful, progressive and vibrant cities in the world, followed by an early dinner and late trip to the airport.  Midnight will find me on home ground in my little northern town, sporting some amazing samosas, indian spices, gifts for my kids and one or two babies to be.

MMMmmmmm samosas.  

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day Four Morulas

Wow.  Feels like I've written this before.  In February, I think.  Ugh.

Let's hope for a better outcome this time, shall we?

So anyhow... we have eight embryos that are now four days old.  They are at morula stage, which is just some name for how far they've developed.    The cells are starting to compact and not usually individually visible.  They say it's not unusual to lose half of the embryos from day three but thankfully this hasn't happened!

What else hasn't happened...  Well for one thing I go hours and hours without thinking about the IVF.  Even half a day or more.  This does not mean I am cold hearted or uncaring, it means I am able to distract myself with some degree of success and think about other things.  Like spending much, much needed girlfriend time with Simar; like doing a little Christmas shopping for my family; like just taking hot baths and cooking good food.

Another thing that hasn't happened is that I am not freaking out about what we will do if this doesn't work. David and I had a very serious, very honest talk about what we would do in that case.  And at the end of it all, we both agreed the following facts:

  • We only have a small window of time that I can safely conceive a child.
  • We have excellent results as far as:
    • Egg production
    • Sperm production
    • Egg quality
    • Fertilization
    • Implantation
  • We survived the first miscarriage and agreed it was the hardest.
  • Money, while never to be taken lightly, is not really an issue in this case.  We do not regret one single penny of what we've spent so far, and it hasn't impacted our savings or our future.
  • Success, aka a child of our own, will make every needle, every plane trip, every ultrasound, pill, doctor's appointment, tear and heartache worth it.
  • If it doesn't work, we have our entire lives to get over it.  Yes there will always be sadness attached to the loss and inability to conceive, however, life is not without loss and sadness.
In the past, David has been rather hesitant to take the next step in all of this.  From the decision to try, to timing intercourse, to IUIs, to clomid, to IVF, and then to IVF again... we've had intense discussions (never angry or arguing) about whether or not to do this... to take it another step. 

Once he's on board, I could not dream of a better partner and husband.   He is supportive, encouraging, hopeful, thankful and all around a wonderful guy.  It's the time between the failure and the agreeing to keep going that's really tough on me (and him I suspect).  I just don't have it in my any more to keep pushing and pulling him along during those in-between times.  I am also dealing with the hormones, the wear and tear on my body, my business being left, and the eventual loss of the pregnancy... so to have to try and use my feminine charms to get him back in the saddle was just too much for me this time.  Previously I've always begun to worry more about 'can we try again' if this fails than the actual failure itself.  Not good!  

So what also hasn't happened is that I am no longer as anxious about possible failure meaning possible end of the road.  David said that he agreed with me on the above facts listed, and that he wants to give it all we can until we can't anymore.  Whew.  Emotional load just released from my shoulders.  Thank you, honey.

Tomorrow is Egg Transfer time.  No idea why I cap't that, but it seemed like a Big Deal, so I did.  10:30 tomorrow we'll be pregnant with three embryos who hopefully decide to stick it out and meet mom and dad in about nine months.  

Wish.  Me.  Luck.  ;)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day Three Embryos

Sorry for not updating.  Sorry Sorry Sorry but I was visiting David and didn't really have internet access since Sunday.  David left last night and so I am back at my girlfriend's house, wrapped up in a comfy blanket, sipping chocolate milk and watching Oprah.  Life is pretty tough.

So, on Tuesday we had our egg retrieval.  It was pretty uneventful.  Pretty painful but not nearly as bad as the first time.  I had over two times the amount of meds this time and still had hardly any side effect.  They were surprised at how fast I metabolized the painkillers.  We managed to produce 32 eggs, but were kind of surprised to find only 12 fertilized normally.  Ugh.  I admit I was kind of bummed at the news, but when you really think about it, having 12 fertilized eggs is pretty good considering I am 39 years old.

Today, on Friday, the lab called and we now have eight leaders with eight cells each, with good to average quality.  Two did not divide yet, but the lab said it could be a matter of hours before the cells divided.  We are honestly thrilled with 8 at this stage.

More updates to follow!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Trigger Time.. Already!

Ahhh doctor was happy this morning but not as happy as I was to find out I have only one more injection to do for this journey.

The blood draws are getting painful, and when doing my meds at home, I manage to hit a blood vein every third injection, which causes bruising, and about every second time it somehow feels like a bit of acid being injected into my body.  Truly starting to detest bleeding on a daily basis.

If I'm gonna keep up my whining, I'm going to talk about how tender my stomach is.  It's a little beyond tender, and downright hurts when I sit down or bend over.  I can feel pressure just standing or laying.  I get two more days of growth before retrieval.  Cheer up, buttercup... there were ladies in the waiting room today who were striving to get nine eggs, much less over 20.  And they were younger.  And didn't have two gorgeous kids already.

Okay.  'Nuff of that crap.  I'm pumped full of hormones, I'm bursting at the seams, I'm ready to lay down a trail of eggs between here and China.  Suddenly I have a bacon craving.  And pancakes.  Ugh.

Sept 29 - Ovaries Clear
Sept 29 - Lining 3.6
Sept 29 - E2 - 37

Oct 4 - AFC - 16 Rt Ovary
Oct 4 - AFC - 15 Lft Ovary
Oct 4 - Lining - 3.6mm
Oct 4 - E2 - 1045

Oct 6 - Follicles Rt Ovary - 5<10 8.5, 10, 10, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 11.5, 11.5, 11.5, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 12.5 total 18
Oct 6 - Follicles Lft Ovary - 5<10, 9.5, 10, 10, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 13, 13.5 total 16
Oct 6 - Lining - 9.1mm
Oct 6 - E2 -  2822

Oct 8 - Follicles Rt Ovary - 5<10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 13, 13, 13, 13.5, 13.5, 14.5, 15, 16 total 17
Oct 8 - Follicles Lft Ovary - 5<10, 12, 13, 13.5, 13.5, 13.5, 13.5, 14, 14, 14.5, 14.5, 18 total 16
Oct 8 - Lining - 11.4mm
Oct 8 - E2 - 7685

Oct 10, 2010 - Rt Ovary - 5<12, 14.5, 14.5, 15, 16.5, 17, 18, 18.5, 19, 20, 20.5 total 15+
Oct 10, 2010 - Lft Ovary - 5<12, 13, 14, 15,, 16.5, 17, 17, 19, 20 total 15+
Oct 10, 2010 - Lining 14 mm
Oct 10, 2010 - E2 - 15,484

This doesn't mean we are getting 30 eggs.  It doesn't mean anything other than things are looking great.  We stimmed for only ten days and got a fabulous response.  It means my lining is great, and all the timing is perfect for David's arrival.  

All in all it's great news.  Now I wait.  I've begun to think about when I can test... I'll have my transfer on Sunday and be 5DPO already... Typically I can get a positive bfp at 8DPO or 9DPO.  That means waiting until Wednesday or Thursday to test.  Of course.... I'll be testing out my trigger so I know it's not a false positive.   And I'm rambling.  Later guys... gotta rest for a while and then off to pick up David from the airport.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

iPhones & Ultrasounds

Okay.  So I'm a research freak.  Most of my long time TTC friends know that.  I am also getting way too used to things being poked into my body and being examined by strangers.  

So when you combine the need for research with my casual attitude towards being a human test tube, you get me, laying on my back in a dimly lit exam room, naked from the waist down ('cept my socks - less personal that way), with a doctor  between my knees, poking a wand around my girly parts while I casually type away information he's giving to the nurse.

I think he heard the clicking.  The doctor, I mean.  Because he looked up and over at me and asked if I were recording the follicle sizes.  I said yes, and he laughed.  He then told the nurse to photocopy my information and give it to me.  Hah!  I love it.  

I also took the time to beg for drugs during my appointment.  My last egg retrieval had me moaning and groaning on the table, with a sympathetic nurse holding my hand.  My doctor promised to make sure I had more than my fair share of drugs this time around, based on the amount of follicles that were developing.  

So for my IFV friends who know what the hell I am talking about.. here are my numbers so far:

Sept 29 - Ovaries Clear
Sept 29 - Lining 3.6
Sept 29 - E2 - 37

Oct 4 - AFC - 16 Rt Ovary
Oct 4 - AFC - 15 Lft Ovary
Oct 4 - Lining - 3.6mm
Oct 4 - E2 - 1045

Oct 6 - Follicles Rt Ovary - 5<10 8.5, 10, 10, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 11.5, 11.5, 11.5, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 12.5 total 18
Oct 6 - Follicles Lft Ovary - 5<10, 9.5, 10, 10, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 13, 13.5 total 16
Oct 6 - Lining - 9.1mm
Oct 6 - E2 -  2822

Oct 8 - Follicles Rt Ovary - 5<10, 10, 11, 11, 11, 13, 13, 13, 13.5, 13.5, 14.5, 15, 16 total 17
Oct 8 - Follicles Lft Ovary - 5<10, 12, 13, 13.5, 13.5, 13.5, 13.5, 14, 14, 14.5, 14.5, 18 total 16
Oct 8 - Lining - 11.4mm
Oct 8 - E2 - 7685

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bored Rant.

Not because I am especially angry or anything, but because I'm especially bored.  My girlfriend and I are having a rare 'alone' evening.  Since I got here we've been drinking and eating and laughing and tonight we are just tired.  She's on her laptop across the room, I'm on mine here, and Criminal Minds is playing in the background on TV.  Ah.  I love visits like this.  

Okay.  Rant.  Today I was in the MetroTown Mall.  Since I am bored and wandering, I tend to look around a lot and watch people.  I could not help but notice an elderly Chinese woman with a cane coming towards me.  She was on the arm of a young man whom I suppose was her son.  She was drawn up and hunched, her hair hanging over her face, but as she passed, she looked sideways at me.  She had a meaty purple bruise covering her eye.  I stopped dead in my tracks and watched them pass.  Then I noticed, that in spite of her hunched back and cane, she was being practically dragged through the corridor.  She was walking much more quickly than seemed possible for someone so old and having to use a cane.  I watched them fade into the faceless crowd, but my heart was aching for her.  I thought of my own mom, who is still able to get around quite well, and how she would never be able to walk that quickly... and wondered what or who had struck the woman's face, and how tender it must be.  I felt so helpless.

I'm so not obsessing about this cycle that I really haven't even thought ahead to what I'll feel if I get pregnant.  Or, if I don't.  It's hard for me to wrap my head around it not implanting.  We've had that so many times already, that *getting* pregnant seems a given.  It's the keeping it that is going to be an issue.  It's waiting until we get that first ultrasound.   I sometimes wish that nobody knew about this except me, so I could go secretly and get my test and my ultrasound and if it's all a heartache and sadness I can lick my wounds quietly and go on with life.  It's seeing my hero, my husband, broken with the amazement of yet another miscarriage that is hardest for me.  I think I could do this for years if not for that part.

I somehow know that it's just a numbers game.  I've carried children.  I have tons of eggs and David's sperm is just fine. We get fertilized eggs, I have perfect lining, our tests were all perfect.  I suspect it's because we are older that we just haven't gotten the right egg yet.  I also suspect it's because of all the stress that has been in my life these past couple of years.  Face it.  I'm older, and my eggs are more fragile.  It's just numbers.  It will happen if we try long enough.  

Tick Tock

Nothing really new to report today.  I got out of the house early for the ultrasound and blood work this morning, managed to get on the road before the break of dawn and was super early for my appointment.  Yay.  At least I wasn't stressed.

Everything went well... I have really difficult veins and so far the nurses have hit them every time this round.  Except for today, the vial was only half full and the blood just stopped.  Ugh.  It was dripping slowly and the nurse was wriggling the needle in and out trying to get some action.  I hate it when that happens.

The follies are doing great - the doctor never bothered to count all of them this time but noted at least a dozen on each side of notable size.  One follicle was already at 18mm and he figured that one would over mature and the egg would not be suitable.  All in all, he was totally happy with things and took my medication down to:  Bravelle 225 mg and Menopur 75 mg and Lupron 5 units for tonight and the same for tomorrow except the Bravelle will lower to 175 mg tomorrow night.

Egg retrieval is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday, not Monday, in order to let as many eggs mature as possible.  I'm 100% okay with that!  David flies in Sunday evening so we'll have most of the week to visit.

I am noticing I am more tired than before, and the hormones are beginning to have some effect on my hormones.  Only par for the course.. and it's not going to get any better!  Thankfully the shop is running beautifully and I am not at all worried about what's going on there.  It makes a world of difference to my state of mind (and body!).

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

First Ultrasound

Went fabulous!

My E2 (estrogen) was 2682 - doctor was happy with that number, and it took forever to count all the growing follies on each ovary.

So far, we have 13 follicles on each ovary measuring between 10 and 12 mm, and at least 4 more that are smaller than 10mm.  At least 30 growing follicles!!

That's pretty awesome!  I feel confident this time... and I also feel the swelling ovaries and pressure on my abdomen... It's going to get more each day from here on in.  It's Wednesday and they anticipate egg retrieval to be on Monday or Tuesday.

I will have to get up earlier to get to my appointment on time.  I awoke at 6.. meaning to get out of the house by 6:30, but didn't leave until nearly 7.  I met bumper to bumper traffic only blocks away from the house.  It was a bit stressful as I'm using my phone as a GPS, and had never taken that particular route before, but I managed to somehow pull into the parking lot of the clinic at 7:28 am, only a moment or two late by the time I got up to the 5th floor.

My medication was lowered to 225mg of Bravelle (3 vials) and still one vial (75 mg) of Menopur and the five units of Lupron.  There is a teeny bit of concern that I might be stimming too quickly, but it's just something we are watching and not really blowing the warning whistle.  David arrives around 6 on Sunday, so hopefully we get to do the retrieval on Monday.  If I can't be enjoying a turkey dinner with my family I'd like to be at least busy in the operating room producing a possible brood.  How cool if the embies were fertilized on Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Few Details

I have the entire day in front of me.  An ENTIRE day of nothingness.  I've taken just a few days off in the past six weeks and they were busy, filled with housework and errands, and one very exhausting but fun 18 holes of golf.  Having a few days to myself is unusual and exciting.  

While at the FSJ airport yesterday, I amused myself by watching a young (or at least new) mother trying to manage a pair of twin girls.  They were about three or four months old.  She had a woman with her, whom I suspect was a nanny.  The mother and the nanny spent no less than ten full minutes getting the girls into baby chest carrier thingys (they were just starting to produce those when my boys were born).  The two women fought with straps and chubby legs and jackets, finally getting the girls settled in to the mother's satisfaction.  At one point she asked the nanny if she had a hair clip because the nanny's hair got in the baby's face when the nanny turned her head....  to say she was particular is an understatement!

Then we got our boarding call.  The women jumped up and quickly went into the airplane.  It was less than a 100 foot walk.  Upon the rest of us boarding the aircraft, we all had to wait another full five minutes in the isle while the women wrestled the babies OUT of the chest carrier thingys.  I was honestly annoyed at the ridiculous stress the mother put on the four of them.  Why not just throw the kids on their hip and quickly walk?  Do we REALLY have to use accessories just because we have them?  Don't you think that some things that we now have actually make life more expensive and difficult, but look trendy? 

Essential or no?  Perhaps for a long walk, but aren't they hard on the parent's backs...?  Also...  I'm adult size and can't imagine straddling 6" of material between my legs - it looks uncomfortable!

*Afternoon Post*

Today I went shopping.  I shopped and then put things back, unable to justify the purchase if it were truly impulsive.  After four solid hours I ended up with some makeup that I needed to replace, a halloween decoration and a couple small Christmas gifts for my eldest son.

I also went to a movie today.  No big deal, right?  Not really, to be honest, but I went alone and that's a first for me!  I went and saw a horror flick, "Devil".  I didn't like that there were only three other people in the theatre, and it was a pretty scary film....  perhaps a poor choice considering I usually end up getting  so freaked out I have to cover my eyes when watching trying to watch scary films.

Most of the movie takes place in an elevator.. it was a good, but they could have had more fun with the concept - tons of opportunity for more scary scenes.  Then again, I had my eyes closed for most of them so what do I know?

All in all, so far things are going well.  Tomorrow at 7:30 am is my first ultrasound to see how my follies are doing.... I'm about 30 minutes away, a small price for the enjoyable stay and money that I'm saving.. but a teeny bit stressful as I'm not sure about the morning commute from Delta and how bad the traffic will be.  

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It's all different this time...

For one thing.. I am not driving in a deafening downpour of rain, through dark unfamiliar streets to a lonely hotel in a strange city.  Instead my flight landed in sunshine, my drive was casual (I know the city so much better now), and my destination was the epitome of a welcome homecoming.

My old roommate from my Prince George days lives in Delta, BC.  We spent nearly a year living in a tiny two bedroom apartment in a questionable neighbourhood where we got on our feet emotionally and financially, while laughing, eating and having endless girl nights.  We drifted apart when she became engaged and moved to the lower mainland, and I moved even further north after a horrid five year fiasco of a relationship.  Thankfully, we reconnected when I was here for my first IVF in January, and this round I didn't hesitate to call her up and ask if she had an extra pillow for me.

Simar is not only beautiful and intelligent, she is an amazing host.  She lives with her gorgeous teenage daughter, and Simar's mom, who speaks little english but is full of tenderness and kindness is often around the house as well.  So I arrived to a houseful of smiling, laughing women who were delighted to see me and feed me an amazing Indian supper.  I have a huge deep bed in a serene room, and a lovely home to myself during the day.  SO so so much better than when I was here before, checking into a cold hotel room!

And.. of course...  I'm not running back and forth on the ferry to the Island to take care of my sister.  I can't say I wish I were.   If I had to choose between her suffering and me getting the pleasure of seeing her, I will endure my pain so she doesn't have to endure hers.

I'm watching my favourite TV shows (they are Simar's favourites as well), with a huge cup of herbal tea, in my big fluffy robe, warm from a long, hot bath.  Ohhh I may never go home!

As for the IVF stuff, well, I had another blood draw this morning and my meds are the same for now.  300 mg of Bravelle (four vials) and 75 mg of Menopur, along with 5 units of Lupron.  My meds are double what I was doing last time.  I am anticipating a great number of eggs this time, and have begun to think of myself as a turtle.  As ovulation approaches, I am making a concentrated effort to avoid any sandy beaches.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Big Long Sigh - Here we go!

It's Sunday night and I am happily sitting at home typing on my pretty new little mac notebook that David bought me today.  Nice timing, hon!  Now I can keep up on my forums and blog while on my next baby-making trip to Vancouver.

Speaking of which, I leave tomorrow afternoon!  I am pretty excited about it, and very hopeful, which part of me finds oddly silly as we've had nothing but three years of heartache... but the other part of me keep thinking that *obviously* it's our turn and I can't wait to get the next positive test.

The nurse assigned to me, Vanessa, is wonderful.  She's on the phone with me at every step and I feel very taken care of.  I've been lucky to do my first week of monitoring and meds from here, avoiding an extra week away from work and all the extra money to travel.  Plus I am much more preoccupied with work and family so I'm not obsessing with everything.

My first scan was amazing.. I have 30 to 31 antral follicles, which is great!  These are the little follicles on the ovaries that are prepared to release eggs.  Antral follicle counts, or AFCs are a great indicator of the ovarian reserve (how many eggs are there), and this number, at my age, is really cause for celebration!  It means we have a high chance of lots of eggs and decent quality ones.

Total number of antral follicles
Expected response to injectable stimulating drugs and chances for IVF success
Less than 4
Extremely low count, very poor (or no) response to stimulation.
Cycle cancellation is likely.
Should consider not attempting IVF at all.
Low count, we are concerned about a possible/probable poor response to the stimulation drugs.
Likely to need high doses of FSH product to stimulate ovaries adequately.
Higher than average rate of IVF cycle cancellation.
Lower than average pregnancy rates for those cases that make it to egg retrieval.
Reduced count.
Higher than average rate of IVF cycle cancellation.
Moderately reduced chances for pregnancy success as a group.
Normal (but intermediate) count, the response to drug stimulation is sometimes low, but usually adequate.
Slight increased risk for IVF cycle cancellation.
Pregnancy rates as a group slightly reduced compared to the "best" group.
Normal (good) antral count, should have an excellent response to ovarian stimulation.
Likely to respond well to low doses of FSH product.
Very low risk for IVF cycle cancellation. Some risk for ovarian overstimulation.
Best pregnancy rates overall as a group.
Over 30
High count, watch for polycystic ovary type of ovarian response.
Likely to have a high response to low doses of FSH product.
Higher risk for overstimulation and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Very good pregnancy rate overall as a group, but some cases in the group have egg quality issues and somewhat lower chances for pregnancy.

Tomorrow I go for another blood test in the morning and then the flight in the afternoon.  I'm already missing my husband, kids, my mom and the girls at the shop, but I am looking forward to a visit with my long time girlfriend Simar, and exploring the gorgeous city again!