Sunday, January 26, 2014

Positive Beta!

So we had our results - 519.4 HCG level. The office looks for a level between 50-100, so we're well above where we needed to be! So we're pregnant, at least for this moment, so we're cherishing it! Now unfortunately we have to wait - Boston IVF only rechecks the HCG levels if you're under 100, since we're not, we now have to wait 2.5 weeks until we have an ultrasound scan to look for a sac and a heartbeat.

So far it's been 3 days since we had that news, and I have to say, this wait is the hardest. We're pregnant, but don't know if it's viable. So many don't make it past a few weeks old, it just makes me wonder everyday. Doesn't help that somedays i've been feeling quite nauseas, yet for the last two days i've been feeling better. I feel slightly crazy for being worried about not feeling nauseas. I also don't fit into my regular trousers anymore, and we even went out and bought me some new bra's too, as i've been unable to wear my regular ones. I know those things are down to the progesterone i'm still taking, but it would be nice to think they might be because we're still pregnant too....just so hard to know what is side effect and what is pregnancy.

B and I have been talking about when we might stop worrying. I don't know, i'd like to think i'll worry less once we're past this scan. The good news is we're off on vacation the week after the scan, to Hawaii, and I actually fly from there to China for two weeks after. So we'll leave at 8 weeks pregnant, and come back at 12 weeks, where in theory the major hurdles are over. I think it'll be good to concentrate on something else, to relax and enjoy ourselves after this crazy journey, and to just focus on being, rather than wondering about being pregnant all the time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Assuming Positive Outcomes

While R was in the acupuncturist's office yesterday, I waited in the lobby for her. The other acupuncturist who works in the office, and who I have seen a couple of times while R was getting her treatments, stopped in to chat and see how things were going. We had a really interesting conversation after he asked if we had been doing any testing at home - I said that we had, and that it was positive, but we were trying not to get our hopes up too much.

His point was worth repeating, I thought, and that was that although there are a lot of things that can go wrong in this process (and, indeed, in any pregnancy), there are a lot of things that can go right. And that usually, things do go right in the grand scheme of things.

I realized last week at some point that I have been assuming that this process would be successful from day one. There's no rational reason that I can point to for that to be true, and in fact there are any number of factors that can be pulled up to show that it's demonstrably statistically unlikely. I think it's just sort of how I've tried to live my life - assume I'll be successful, then work really hard to make that happen. I once heard someone in Starbucks management utter the phrase 'Assume Positive Intent' - that is, assume that people meant to do something good, even if the outcome didn't turn out well. For me, this is just a slight twist on that - Assume Positive Outcomes. Sort of like 'Hope for the best', I suppose.

Not that I'm not nervous about tomorrow's results - I definitely am. R felt a little better this morning, and she mentioned that it might seem weird, but that made her nervous. Funny thing was, I had the exact same thought. So, we'll just keep moving forward, cautiously optimistic.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Or not , as the case might be. I did a pee test this morning, it came out positive. With an ivf treatment though, this doesn't mean all is great, the chances of it being a false positive is high. The hormone these tests pick up is the same one I had to take a big shot of just prior to the egg retrieval surgery, so there still could be some in my system that the test picked up. Before we started this I said I wasn't going to do a pee test, I'd wait for the blood test (which is in 3 days). 

So why take this today? Well, it's been 6 days since our transfer, so 13 days since I had that shot. Everything we've read suggests it should be out of the system in 11 days. Tomorrow. We talk to the Dr about plans for the future, and I kinda wanted this info before we do that. And lastly, it's Bs birthday today, and I wanted at least some confirmation of where we were to give him. 

Excited? A little. I'm much too much of a scientist to be jumping for joy just yet.....but I'll admit, it brought a big smile to my face this a long time trying, this is the closest we've come to being pregnant.....

Friday, January 17, 2014

The wait....

The wait is a killer for most people, but I have to say I think i'm doing okay, maybe even better than B. We'll see if that changes as we get closer to going for our first blood test (5 days away), but so far all is good. I guess I keep thinking back to those 7 long months where we had this same wait. Every month. The first few were devastating, the remainder upsetting, but there were even a few there where I didn't cry over it. I just got used to the tests being negative and kept busy. Even though this time has so much more at stake, i'm feeling just like I was in those other months.

We have a meeting with Dr. Lannon on Monday to go over how the cycle went. So many questions. I guess they do this before the results so we're realistic and know our next steps before the blood test on Wednesday. Realistically I don't know how we'd afford another cycle, and we don't have any frozen embryos to even try the much cheaper Frozen Embryo Transfer like we were hoping. Still, we said we'd cross that bridge when we came to it. We know we can't do three, but a second cycle isn't totally out of the realm, even if we have to seriously scrape and raid the 401K's to get it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

2 transferred

We're there, the 'two week wait' as they say in the infertility world. There have been so many moments over the past month where I doubted we'd be this far. Today we had two embryos left, good looking blastocysts our Dr said, so we implanted both, did an acupuncture session and now we wait. 24hrs of relaxing and watching funny movies, 48hrs of taking it easy, and ten days of wondering if either of our embryos stuck.

Our two embryos, good looking little fellas

Embryos implanted, taking a moment

So wishing this will be the end of needles for me...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Getting Used To It

One of the things that we heard before we started this process was that people 'get used to' the injections that are required. R has a bit of a thing about needles, and so everyone always joked that this would definitely get her over that problem.

Well, I have news for those of you with the same problem - it may not actually help. To the very last dose of Lupron and even the trigger shot, R had the same reaction. Not quite ready when the needle was ready, always unconsciously positioning herself away from the shot, closing her eyes, and needing to breathe deeply to get through it.

And really, who can blame her? She had a reaction to the Lupron, so basically every day she was signing herself up for more pain, more discomfort, and more stinging at a minimum as the Lupron went into her belly. We tried her arm a couple of times to see if that might feel better, but at the end of the day the belly was always the best. By the end of it she had a couple of bruises and spots all around and below her bellybutton from all of the different needle sticks.

It turns out that giving the injections is easy. What's not easy is feeling like you're torturing the woman you love - every shot hurts, and there's nothing I can do about that. There's no getting used to it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

7 to 4

Where to start, I guess it's been a few days. This week has been a whirlwind. On monday we had our third blood work and ultrasound. We found out I had 6 maturing follicles and they were of a size that I had to trigger ovulation, ready for egg retrieval on Wednesday. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. Throughout this whole process I had my head set on producing double digits, at least ten eggs. The reason you want more is it gives more chances for success - but in the end you only need one good quality to work. We talked with our nurses and they assured us it was a 'good' result, not a great one, but a good one.

So yesterday we moved forward, we arrived at boston ivf at 745 am and began getting me ready for the retrieval. B went off and made his 'contribution' to the process as I was taken off changed and had and iv put in my arm. This is a procedure they sedate you for, and though fast (~20 minutes) is a full day experience. I woke up from the sedation with hiccups and nausea, but to the news they had retrieved 7 eggs. B took me home to a day of bed rest and Vicodin, and posibly the first time I've really slept in over a week because of all the aches and pains. Friends sent us over puzzles, I watched tv, I was lazier than I've ever been I think. 

The next step was to hear from the lab today, and we just got the call - 6 had icsi and 4 fertilized. Our dr wants to try for a 5 day transfer, hopefully meaning he thinks they're good quality. So now we wait....5 long days and hope all the embryos survive so we can have 2 transferred and 2 frozen for later. 

Friday, January 3, 2014


Lupron sucks. I'm just going to put that out there. I'm happy, thrilled even, to finally be taking this journey, getting closer to the family B and I want together, but the shots are starting to get to me, particularly the Lupron.

A) It hurts. Out of Lupron and Gonal-F, Lupron is the one that makes me wince and stings like hell after it went in. It's a slightly wider needle too, and at this point (day 8 of stims, day 10 of cycle) my belly is just raw. So every time it goes in now, it hurts.

B) My body hurts. The day after I started lupron I woke up at 4am with immense pain in my left leg - all the way from the hip to the ankle. B woke up with me and massaged Tiger Balm into it, which helped. But it's now 9 days later and my left leg is still sore. It waxes and wains, but at night it's worse. I can't lie on my side, and I hate sleeping on my back. So far I haven't slept past 4am on a good day, and 3 on a bad one. So i'm also tired. Really tired.

We called the pharmacy on Boxing Day just to talk to them about the side effects, and they confirmed Lupron can cause muscle and bone aches, particularly in the pelvic region. A few days later I trapped a nerve in my neck, pretty much making me completely incapacitated, and pretty much a wreck. Today we also talked to our Dr's office, our wonderful nurse Tammy confirmed this is not unheard of with Lupron, but there is nothing other than tylenol I can take....and that really doesn't touch the pain at all. Sigh.

B mentioned the other day how funny it was that he'd been warned about what the hormones would do to me, but he (we) didn't expect it to by physical. Mentally the side effects have been pretty minimal, neither of us think it's made me more moody, though as tiredness creeps in I am just about ready to have meltdown #2 over more injections. Tomorrow we go back in for another scan and bloodwork. Our nurse has said we're likely to be on injectables for a bit longer, but that egg extraction would probably be next week. We're getting close, and not too much longer on with the pin pricks. As long as I can see an end date to the injectables, I'll be okay...