Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Very Somber Day

After being stressed out for two days straight, I was anxious to hear the results of the blood work. Of course, they neglected to call prior to arriving at the wake for my husband's grandfather. My phone was glued to my hand for a good hour before it finally rang. I scurried outside to only get not so great news. Although my hCG level has risen from 900 to 1400, they were still concerned. Then she tells me I have to go for an ultrasound tomorrow morning. At the exact time of the funeral. Because my numbers weren't where they wanted them, they were concerned of an ectopic pregnancy. After sobbing on the phone with the nurse trying to get any other time possible, she informs me they have no other times available. With no other options, I finally give in.

This morning we wake up to a somber house. After frantically trying to get ready (6 family members sharing 2 bathrooms), the phone rings. I'm sharing the bathroom mirror with my sister-in-law while her boyfriend's in the shower. Then we hear screaming, we both freeze, both assuming the dog fell down the stairs. But there were no frantic footsteps descending. The screaming continued. We finally open the bathroom door to see my mother-in-law in tears screaming "Uncle Walter died last night!" On top of all the heart ache of losing a wonderful Papou, we have now lost an amazing uncle. My heart sank at this point. Knowing most horrible things come in threes, I was petrified that we would be getting bad baby news.

We left our family in tears and drove the 30 mins to Lexington. We were 20 mins early and were thankfully greeted by the ultrasound tech ready to take us in. Now I have had some strange techs before who don't tell you a thing. This woman was fantastic! She explained everything she saw and didn't see. I knew as soon as she shifted to my uterus and there was a little black dot on the screen, that it was good news. Our little embryo has implanted in the right place and is growing strong. My ovaries have almost doubled in size due to cysts producing all the hormones I need. We met with the nurse practitioner after who had only positive things to say.

The benefit of going through IVF and having low numbers, they monitor you every week. In 10 days we will return to have a second ultrasound done. At this time, we hope to see a heart beat. If that is the case, we are then handed off to our OB and treated like a normal pregnancy.

Monday, November 22, 2010


This is the difficult part about blogging. There are things that I just don't want to talk about or share. But this is the reason for doing it. In hopes that this will help someone else along the way.

So the blood work done on Friday showed that my hCG levels have not been elevating properly. We went back Sunday morning for a fourth round of bloodwork. Having been excited that we were 5 weeks, we were staying positive. About 1:30pm the nurse phoned. My hCG went from 637 to 900. Approximately every 48 hours, the level should double. The nurse was not very reassuring. I am to go back Tuesday morning for a fifth round of blood work. If my levels are not showing the correct elevation, it is possible the pregnancy will need to be terminated.

I hung up the phone and immediately sobbed for a good 10 mins. Thankfully my husband was with me during the phone call. We laid in bed for about 20 mins, not speaking. There are no words to describe how I'm feeling. After two years of trying, and months of drugs and procedures, to have gotten this far and be sent right back to where we started is devastating.

I moped around the house for most of the day, trying to process everything. My husband keeping one eye on me to make sure I was all right. I finally went online and started researching normal hCG levels in early pregnancy. Only 85% of successful pregnancies show the elevated levels accurately. Which means 15% of pregnancies don't. It also mentioned that the levels can double anywhere between 48-72 hours. Although this gives me some hope, I'm still afraid that this won't end well. The nausea has subsided, I'm not nearly as tired as I was. I have had some cramping again, but no spotting.

On top of dealing with all of this, my husband's grandfather passed away on Friday. I get to have blood work and potentially devastating news on the same day as his wake. The positive energy is quickly dwindling.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Laughter Cures Everything

What is it about November that has me jinxed? To catch you up to speed, last two weeks have been extremely difficult. Between family members in hospice care, another one diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, one having surgery and another one having heart failure, it has been two stressful weeks. Although I've been feeling pretty calm, apparently I have been putting too much stress on my body.

I drove, for what I expected to be, my last round of blood work. Didn't stall or go the wrong way down a one way today, so it started off pretty good. No pouring rain, no horrible drivers. They drew my blood, then I ran home for a quick breakfast, packed and booked it out the door. Filling in at the gym, my phone rings finally around 1:15. The nurse explains that my hCG levels are at 637, which they hoped would be around 800 by now. She explains that it's nothing to panic about, I could simply be one of those people who's levels just don't increase at the same rate. Why would my body do anything right? Story of my life.

So, I still feel good about this pregnancy. I'm staying positive in light of the news. I'm not giving up on this little guy/gal. It's time for some extreme relaxation and pampering. Starting with a much needed girls night to laugh my sorrows away. Followed by a 4th round of blood work Sunday morning. Until then, time for a little R&R....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

4 Weeks

Yesterday morning I headed back to the doctor's to have a second round of blood work. It was pouring rain yet again therefore every horrible driver decided to come out. Took an extra 10 mins to get there and I ended up going the wrong way down a one way. Oh well.

For the first time in my life, I was finally able to watch the nurse draw the blood from my arm. I guess that's what happens, a little desensitization after months of giving yourself injections.

I thankfully received the phone call from the nurse around 3pm. My hCG level has continued to rise which means the little poppy seed inside me is still growing. I also learned that they ask for three days of blood work just the ensure things are going smoothly. They also schedule a 7 week ultrasound to check on the fetus, heart beat and how many babies are really in there. Seeing as they only implanted one embryo, I'm praying that's how many have grown.

As for side affects, the nausea has continued and intensified. At about 10am, my stomach is continuously flipping. My skin has been really itchy for a few days now, not sure if it's related. My appetite has gotten bigger and I swear my uterus has already grown. Hubby thinks I'm just super excited, so it's all in my head. However I did get him to agree last night that my lower region seems a little more obtrusive.

As for right now, I'm 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant and couldn't be happier! Tomorrow morning is more blood work, then off for a much deserved girls night.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Survey Says......

Being the impatient person that I am, I could not simply wait until today for the bloodtest. I've taken four home pregnancy tests, all with the same results. So needless to say I was not surprised by the outcome:


Although it is super early, I wanted to share this wonderful news with all of you. If it had not been for all your love, support, prayers and positive energy, I don't know where we'd be. I now ask that because this is so early, that you continue to pray that we are able to carry to term a healthy little bundle. Although I would love to talk and share every detail, I am still hesitant seeing as I'm only about 4 weeks along. I will continue to write and keep you all updated, but I ask not to be the victim of twenty questions. I hope you can understand.

So now that you're informed I can share that for the past two weeks I have been cramped, nauseous and exhausted. (I'm not crazy after all.) I am emotional and seem to be crying at anything and everything. Every smell hits me differently. None seem to be good. Besides all the side affects, we couldn't be happier. It has been a long two years and we are thrilled that this has finally worked for us. We are remaining hopeful that this little decimal point is our first child.

Again, thank you for all the love and support! We are truly blessed, all around!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


So there isn't much to report today. I've been taken over by a cold the last couple of days, so the exhaustion has really set in. I'm continuing to have cramping which has thankfully toned down a little. I am still getting tired at 3pm every day but the nauseous has subsided. It has been replaced with dizziness and irritation. I notice myself losing patience much quicker than usual, and trying to do anything at more than a snails pace, makes my head spin. The past couple of days, even with a cold, I can smell everything and everything smells bad. Woke up to the dog about 2 feet from my face and all I could smell was whiffs of poop, which was no where in sight thankfully.

I am continuing to pray that these are all legitimate signs and I'm not fabricating them in my mind. As much as I know they are real, I am still truly worried that this hasn't worked. We have waited two years to see a positive pee stick that turns into a pregnancy and hope that this is it. As optimistic as I've tried to remain, there is always that feeling of doubt that creeps in. (We have laid out this little fleece pj set covered in a rubber ducky pattern hoping that it will help.)

I've done all the research on cribs and mattresses, fabric diapers and I really feel ready now. God always has a plan and no matter how badly you want something, there's always a right time. Although it has been painful to wait two years, I really feel it's been for the best. We are more ready now than we ever have been. Those two years have let us truly prepare for what we are wishing. (Although you can never be really prepared to have children, you can feel prepared.) We've had five great years alone enjoying our marriage and life. It's time to invite a little one into our world. I hope this one is it. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I have been researching alot these last couple of days. Trying to find out what positive and negative signs to look for over the next week. Apparently it is a good thing that at 3pm every day I want to crawl into bed or run to hug the porcelain bowl. I began having cramps on Saturday but was afraid to acknowledge them. They feel very similar to menstrual cramps, but they are less intense and dissipate quickly. From what I have read, this is my uterus beginning to expand to make room for a baby.

It has been discouraging listening to other couple's stories. Many people we've spoken to, had to have two embryo transfers before they saw positive results. I have finally heard from a dear friend that her son and daughter in law were successful on their first try. Ever since the transfer, hubby and I have had a good feeling. We both waited to relay this to one another in fear of jinxing ourselves. However, I am still feeling positive and am hopeful that all these signs mean we will be successful first try.

I have been contemplating whether or not to divulge if the transfer has been successful on this blog. Many people are more reserved when it comes to this topic, I however feel it's important to share and be honest with friends and family. Knowing how many couples go through this as well, I am feeling more confident in my decision to share our journey. So you will be kept informed of the ups and downs of this process. We both strongly believe that sharing this with our friends and family has been the best decision. It has ensured us many prayers, thoughts and positive energy which has made all of the difference. For that, we thank you! We do ask that you continue to pray for us in hopes that we will be lucky enough to bare a child.

PS- I have also come to embrace a term I found yesterday: PUPO (Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise). Now whether they mean treat your body like it's pregnant, or in fact that you are pregnant, doesn't matter to me. I'm going to start referring to myself as a PUPO. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh So Tired....

Friday morning I headed off to the embryo transfer alone in the pouring rain. We assumed that the appointment would be in the afternoon, and hubby would be home by then. However, I was scheduled for 11:50am with arrival time of 10:50am. Therefore, no Hubby.

Upon arrival I am asked to drink about three large glasses of water. This is to ensure that your bladder is full during the procedure. The bladder acts as a door or a window depending on if it's empty of full. She also informs me that from the day prior to today, a few of our embryos have become blastocytes. A blastocyte indicates that the embryo has divided so many times it now contains over 100 cells. This is great news! The one they will be implanting is an extreme blastocyte, meaning it is well past the 100 cells. We have about 3 others at the same stage that will be able to be frozen as well.

At about 11:30 I'm brought into a private transfer room. (Odd thing #1: The nurse's name assigned to me was Vallorie, the same as my mother in law.) She gives me two warm sheets to wrap around myself. Then I sit and wait. The room is pretty standard, except it has a door on either side. One leading to the hall, the other leads directly into the lab. Through the doorway I can hear them listening to the radio. Piano Man comes on, makes me smile.

At about 11:45 the ultrasound tech comes in to be sure my bladder is full. Very nice older woman who informs me that my bladder looks perfect. (Odd thing #2: She then tells me that the doctor doing the procedure today is Dr. Pang. Same name as my OB I've been seeing for a couple years. Funny little Asian man with a great sense of humor.) She also explains how the procedure is going to go.

11:50am Dr. Pang comes in. Into the stirrups I go. I have opted out for the Vallium, so at this point I'm focusing on my breathing. He inserts the catheter and the ultrasound tech places her magic wand over my uterus. The adjacent wall holds a flat screen TV that then displays our little embryo. They take it's picture and place it in my bag. The ultrasound screen is then angled towards me. The lab tech, a gorgeous man in his early thirties comes in and hands the embryo to Dr. Pang. On the screen you can see the catheter tube then a couple little bubbles come out. Then my little embryo drops right into my uterus where it floats down then rests. And there it is, our little embryo inside. I wait about 10 mins, laying down to ensure the little guys doesn't move. Then I'm off.

(This is our little embryo)

Hubby arrived home at about 3. We snuggled on the couch until 4 then left for my acupuncture appointment. I had 6 needles on both sides of my body. Two in the ear, one in the hand, one in the thigh, one below the knee and one in the ankle. Surprisingly you do feel them, just a quick sting though. (Nothing compared to giving yourself shots twice a day.) The amazing part, I could actually feel the Chi or energy running through my body from those points. It's a pretty incredible feeling. After 10 mins, she returns to twist the needles. Then I lay for another 15 mins and I'm done.

Saturday and Sunday, 3pm I feel like I hit a wall. I'm immediately tired and feel like I need a nap. I've been slightly nauseous both days as well. My pregnancy test is scheduled for Mon. the 15th. Until then, I'll probably pee on a dozen sticks. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for all the prayers!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Positive Approach to Infertility

As I get closer to my embryo transfer date, I'm reminded of a conversation with a dear friend. She was explaining to me a similar situation her friend and  spouse were going through. Although her friend's husband had a low sperm count and motility, she was able to conceive through infertility treatments, but was unable to stay pregnant. At this point, whether it be her anger at the situation or something else entirely, she began to blame her husband for their issues.

(I'm going to get on my soap box for a moment.)

Whether it is you or your spouse that has the infertility issue, it should not matter. No blame should ever be put on the other person. The bond of marriage should be strong enough that you know that this is YOUR problem, not either of you individually. Most likely, your spouse already feels bad enough that they are not able to conceive naturally. You are only adding more stress and heart ache to your marriage. Instead, comfort your spouse letting them know that you will get through this together. No matter what the circumstances are, you should be reassuring them that they had/have no control over the situation. That is the only way to face this, positively.

(Climbing down now.)

Just to follow up from yesterday, I spoke with the nurse regarding the nipple issue. Apparently it is completely normal to have this affect from the hormones that I have been "inserting" into myself the last couple of days. Although it's uncomfortable, I'm told it will pass. My left ovary is feeling pretty painful today, most likely from the rain. (barometric pressure?) I'm treating myself to 90 min slow walk on the treadmill, hot yoga and a warm bath tonight so that I will be nice and relaxed for tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Friday's The Big Day

Ok, so all those dreams and weird feelings I've been having about twins, is hopefully out the window. We got word this morning that our little embryos are growing well and our transfer day will be Friday. Hubby was supposed to fly home Thursday, but because of the conference timing, he will be flying home Friday morning. I have been told that the transfers are done in the afternoons. I am going to put a call into the doctor today though, to see if we can be last or near the end of the day. Just to be sure hubby can be there.

(Part of writing this blog is to be as honest as possible with my readers. So I apologize ahead of time for any family members reading this. You may want to skip this part.)

The second thing I need to talk to the doctor about is my nipples. Yes, I know, no one wants to hear about them. But ever since my procedure on Sunday, the have been so erect I feel like they are going to start shooting laser beams. Now whether this is due to the change in temperatures, or they hit something down there, it is starting to hurt. Never mind the fact that I am becoming that obnoxious girl who's nipples are always showing. This is a serious problem. My breast are also extremely sore all the time. Nothing seems to be helping either problem.

My goal for the next couple of days is to have a couple moderate work outs and continue my yoga. I am hoping in doing so my cervix will be a nicely relaxed muscle. Saturday I have already scheduled to have acupuncture done. I will continue to remain as calm as possible and keep channeling positive energy to my uterus. :) (I can't help but think of "Knocked Up" when her sister has about a million Red Bulls and says "POSITIVE, POSITIVE, POSITIVE". That's the current image in my head.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

7 Little Embryos Sitting In a Dish....

The last couple days I have been in a decent amount of pain. My lower abdomen has been really swollen and sore. This morning I woke up feeling alot better. The swelling has subsided and the pain is bearable.

Liz, my nurse coordinator just phoned. (You really do learn as you go in this process. As soon as you think you understand the process, something new is stated.) So she has called to schedule my transfer for tomorrow. My first question is "Do none of them look good?!" She quickly responds no. They always tentatively schedule the transfer on day 3. Because the embryos can change drastically from hour to hour, they schedule on day 3, call the morning of and either confirm or push it off to day 5.

So as of right now, my arrival time tomorrow is 1:30pm and my transfer time is 2:30pm. I was told by the nurses on Sunday that they suggest Valium, a muscle relaxer, to be taken the day of transfer. Being the hippie that I am, that doesn't sound ideal to me. Especially when I am trying to convince a petri-dish grown embryo that it now belongs in my nice warm body. Let's add some drugs to the thank you! Thankfully, Liz agreed with me that taking the Valium isn't necessary. I am however going to be having the acupuncture done the day after transfer. (whatever helps)

Liz also stated that I have a total of 7 embryos growing. Somehow we have gone from 16 follicles, to 11 eggs to 7 embryos. I'm just happy the little guys are growing!!! Fingers crossed that they look good enough to wait till Friday.

Grow little embryos grow! Mommy & Daddy love you and can't wait to meet you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's a Man's World

Sunday morning, Halloween. We are up at 6am, showering and heading out the door. We get to the doctor's about 7:20am. The nurses greet us and escort me to the bathroom to change into a robe. We are brought to one of the 5 semi private gurneys and are given heated blankets. They administer my IV with fluids and Cyro. The antibiotic Cypro is to ensure I do not get any infections from the procedure. It's precautionary.

At 8am, Hubby is brought to a private room for his "retrieval". The room is equipped with a leather sofa, tv, dvds and magazines. I'm stuck on a gurney in a hospital robe and my husband is given every luxury to perform his task. It really is a man's world.

He returns prior to my procedure. He waits with me as the short, rotund anesthesiologist waddles over. He asks a couple routine questions then waddles away. A nurse comes over after and walks me to the surgical room. I'm given the anesthesia and am out cold in about 30 seconds. I wake up about an hour later back on the gurney with my husband. I'm given a Ginger Ale and some crackers and eat them slowly. It takes about 30 mins before I'm comfortable to get up. Hubby helps me dress and we leave.

My lower abdomen is swollen and in pain. I am only able to take Tylenol to relieve the pain. I slept for a couple hours on the sofa. Ate a little. All in all, I feel okay. The nurse recommended drinking Gatorade and eating a high protein diet to help keep fluids from building up in my body. She also explained that my eggs would be injected with my husband's sperm that day. They will watch the embryos grow and phone us on Tuesday. Hubby left this morning for Nashville, so either way he will miss the transfer. So now, I just wait. Tuesday we will know more.