We cheated…

So… my husband and I decided not to POAS during this process. We swore we wouldn’t and that we would just wait for the beta.

Last night we went through my hope chest which contains some of the baby items I’ve collected across the years. Some more notable items it contained were:

2 baby blankets knit by my Mom before she passed away
2 crystal statues from my Mom before she passed away
A stuffed animal from my junior year of college when I studied abroad in South Africa
A jellycat stuffed bear
Baby booties from our trip to Guatemala
Books for baby (ies)
Other sweet items.

As we went through we were pretty excited and looking forward to the beta test (today). When we went downstairs to watch TV, I asked, “Is it okay if I take a pregnancy test?” My husband said (surprisingly!), “Sure”. So I went upstairs and did my business (mind you I had used the services about 20 minutes before). I had him wait 5 minutes to look and wouldn’t you know he couldn’t read the dang test! He said, “Is it supposed to have half a line or a full one?!” I was so nervous I ran upstairs and took it out of his hands- and there it was…

a BFP! IT was faint, but it was there! I was so excited I started to cry, and he said he wouldn’t believe it until the doctor confirmed. AS the night progressed the line got darker, and I just knew we were pregnant.

I couldn’t sleep at all last night (maybe the hormones, maybe the excitement)so I was tired this morning- but this was the easiest blood test I’ve taken. They said they would call between 2-4 with the news, so naturally I got a phone call at 1245pm from the office. “Hi, this is Dr. X. We have good news- you are pregnant.” I was so happy and then I asked for my beta. “It’s 57”.

I wasn’t completely thrilled with that number and I asked the doctor if it was okay. She said that it was low average, but not to worry we would test again Monday. I’ve also read that my number is within the guideline… so we will see. She scheduled my next beta for Monday and my ultrasound is scheduled for August 28.

I still can’t believe this, but…

I’M PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please keep us in your prayers so that the baby (ies) continue to develop and that the betas go up and they are healthy and happy in my womb. I still can’t believe we’ve made it to this point, and I’m so hopeful and happy that on April 16 we will have our beautiful child (ren). All the glory to God for this miracle.

Advertisements

Let it Be…

I had the privilege of going to see Sir Paul McCartney on Saturday, which was a huge blessing by itself, but even more so because it helped me keep my mind off of Thursday’s upcoming beta test.

I should probably preface this post by providing some background. I met my husband when I was a sophomore in college (19 years old). I had never really “dated” anyone (and I had only kissed 3 people in my life…) so when we got together, I had a feeling he was the one. The week we started dating he saw Paul McCartney on tour. During our courtship we made NUMEROUS mix CD’s to chronicle our feelings over music. One thing I learned quickly is that my husband had a healthy obsession with The Beatles- and that was something I respected and shared with him. And so it was fitting that the soundtrack of our relationship has revolved around Beatles’ classics- each providing their own depth and insights into different parts of our relationship- be it when we met (in choir), when I studied abroad or moved away, and when we were together and dated for 5 years. Our favorite song- and the one we danced to at our wedding was “I Will”. It’s not a very popular one- but it’s sentiments are sweet, so here it is:

Who knows how long I’ve loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to I will

For if I ever saw you
I didn’t catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will, I will

The concert was amazing, even though he didn’t play “I Will”. He did play numerous Beatles songs, a few new songs (I liked “My Valentine”), and some songs from his band “Wings”. All in all- it was pretty much a Beatles concert, and it was fantastic. For a 72 year old man, he’s still got mad game and singing ability. Some of the most poignant moments, though, were when he explained why he wrote the songs. The song “Blackbird” was written for the turmoil in the south- and “to everyone who was struggling to get through something”. Yes, me! You’re talking to me, Sir Paul?!

“Blackbird singin’ in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. You were only waiting for this moment to arrive. Blackbird, fly. Into the light of a dark black night.”

And then he played “Maybe I’m Amazed”, which reminded me of how blessed I am to be traveling this journey with my husband and to know what an Amazing man he is. Just a few lines from that,
“Maybe I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time, Maybe I’m amazed by the way I love you… Maybe I’m amazed at the way you help me sing my song, right me when I’m wrong, Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.”

Not to mention We can work it out, Yesterday, Golden Slumbers, and finally, Let it Be. I think at this point in our IVF journey, “Let it Be” is the perfect song. Not only do I think about my relationship in terms of a “soundtrack”, I’ve often thought of different parts of my life in a soundtrack-type way, and for this phase- this MUST be the song.

“And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music,
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be”

So… until Thursday, I’ll let it be. I’m not going to POAS, I’m going to try to clench my teeth a little less, laugh a little more, and enjoy my last week off before I go back to work/school. I know that this journey has been long, but it’s been worth every minute. I also know that no matter what, God has a plan for us. I hope His plan involves these two sweet babies sticking and making a home, but I place my trust in the plan.

Keep us in your prayers for Thursday- hoping that Thing 1 and Thing 2 are going to still be in there! Stay cozy baby loves! Thanks for reading.

“Symptoms”

Just for fun I thought I would write about some “symptoms” I’ve had so far since the transfer. I know they could be nothing, but what else would I blog about? : )

1) Difficulty sleeping at night. I’m all settled in and then I get hot, then I’m uncomfortable and 30 minutes later I’m still not asleep. Even the dog is getting frustrated with me.

2) Uterine cramping in the afternoon. Little bitty cramps around 3/400pm. I hope it’s implantation!

3) Gas. That is all.

4) Hot flashes (the past few days and I haven’t even started my estrogen patches!)

5) Chin acne. Gross. This is like the kind I got when I was 16 and way more fertile. I hope it’s a good sign. Dear God, I will take all the chin acne you will give me for a healthy pregnancy with healthy baby(ies).

6) Huge boobs. But I think it’s the medicine (or the fact that they were big before)

7) Swollen belly (hopefully because there are babies in there!)

 

Anyone else have these symptoms?

Only a few more days!

T minus 7 days or 3dp5dt (or that time I went crazy)

ARGH!

I have been googling WAYYYYY too much. At first I was freaked out because I feel like I’m not taking enough medicine- before the transfer I was doing 3 shots a day (medicine not booze… hahaha) plus other supplements, castor oil packs, etc. etc. I was a busy lady. Now I’m taking 4 vitamins, and 2 progesterone supplements with my estrogen patches starting tomorrow. Am I missing something? Did some other RE from some other woman’s case (who obviously had a blog, too) prescribe some other medicine I should take?!?! In the words of the new Bachelorette:

STOPPPPPPPPPP.

This is too much. I need to trust my doctors. Whatever protocol they use I need to trust it. Yes, It’s good to be my own advocate, but I am seriously going to go crazy if I continue to pretend I went to medical school for 8+ years to understand how to do this protocol. End of story, moving on. Except…

I wanted to go swimming. That’s okay, right? Looks like it’s not. Swimming laps is too vigorous- that’s out. Swimming in a lake could introduce bacteria. Tubing could knock the babies out (really?! that’s frightening!) and waterskiing is totally out of the question (good, I probably would have made a HUGE fool out of myself trying that). Okay, so basically I can sit in the boat in my one piece (to cover my new fertility treatment weight gain) and get tan.

Maybe I could snuggle with my husband. But no sex. Yes, I remember that, and no orgasm. Okie dokie. So we snuggled and kissed, but then… I got aroused?! Could that have been an orgasm? No… what about the change in blood flow? That has to be good for the babies, right? But what if I had an orgasm and I didn’t know it?! (insert eye roll)

OH MY GOSH. I need to be admitted. Please tell me that other people have these same irrational fears?

I actually had to lay down yesterday and say to myself (OUT LOUD!). You are pregnant with 2 beautiful babies. You have done everything you can to protect and care for them. They are making a cozy home. There is nothing you can do to help them but send them love and be happy.

Easier said that done…

In other news or ways I am trying to distract myself:
– my husband is obsessed with the Ebola virus. He’s convinced that it’s going to come to Minnesota and worried because I work in a school… oh jeez. I’ll keep you posted if he wraps our house in plastic.
– I went shopping yesterday and spent too much money so now I have to go back to the mall and do the walk of shame for returns- I’m not the only one who does this, right?
– I’m going to see Paul McCartney in concert tomorrow night!
– We babysat our godson last night and survived, although after 2 hours of babysitting my husband fell asleep on the couch (rookie!)
– I’m also going to see My Fair Lady tomorrow and I’m super pumped about it!
– Sunday is “Lake day” which is why all of the ridiculous swimming comments happened above
– Next week I get to go to a short story contest, a wedding, a cabin, a minor league ball game AND a Rod Stewart/Santana concert. Also, the beta test is in there.

So all in all, things are okay, they’re gonna be okay : )

Still, keep us and thing 1 and thing 2 in your prayers- I hope they’re cozy!

Happy Friday!

The transfer

So the transfer was scheduled for Tuesday morning. On Monday they called and said that when the last looked at the embryos 9 were strong and 1 was lagging behind. I was thrilled! I was really hoping for strong numbers the day of transfer.

The day before the transfer we unexpectedly had friends in town, which was wonderful. We were able to go on walks, go out to eat at my favorite places around the city, go to a museum and get ice cream. It was great- and then that night I went to a Bachelorette “The Final Rose” viewing party, and tried out some Jamberry nails. All in all, it was a great way to keep my mind off of the transfer. I really enjoyed the jamberry nails (such a fun way to have trendy nails) and COULD NOT BELIEVE what Nick said to Andi about them sleeping together. What an episode!

The day of the transfer we were scheduled to be there at 830, but I needed to be there an hour earlier for my acupuncture session. Normally I do community acupuncture, but for this, I just wanted to do the sessions in the next room. The bonus was that the acupuncturist is actually a friend of a friend, so it was really special to have her as part of our special day. During the session I visualized “sewing” the embryos into my womb, and envisioned our life with our babies. As I was drifting off I heard a John Denver’s, “Annie’s song” which was one of my Mom’s favorites. I finally felt her presence with us, and I knew that she was with us, helping our babies settle in. They took out my needles and I walked to the next room for the transfer. Because I have a really weird vasovagal response to uterine stimulation they decided to put me under with Versed and Fentanyl for the transfer so that nothing would go wrong. I was afraid they would not let my husband in there while I was under anesthesia, but the doctor (our doctor who did the transfer!) allowed it. As the anesthesiologist gave me my “cocktail” I dozed off singing the “Sha la las” of Van Morrison’s, “Brown Eyed Girl”.

My husband said the transfer went really well. They put in 2 blastocysts that were almost hatching, and we had 5 that might make it to freeze for the next day. I did acupuncture again after the transfer, and was ready to go home. I spent all of yesterday on “bed rest” trying not to be up and about. I ate warm foods and kept my feet warm (warm feet=warm uterus).

Today I slept in and got the call that only 1 embryo made it to today to freeze. I was really sad. I know that there are 2 healthy ones in me- but I really wanted to have some extras. I knew I just had to put faith in the two inside me that things would go well.

Later this afternoon I got a call that an embryo they thought had stopped growing was actually just “taking a pause” so they were able to freeze it, too. So out of 14 eggs, we transferred 2, and have 2 frosties.

My emotions have been going back and forth all day. I’m super excited that we had 2 to transfer and so hopeful that they are making a comfy little home. But other times I’m worried about the outcome, about the next steps. I’m afraid to sneeze or go to the bathroom (either number) or really do anything without asking the doctor. I just hope and pray that this works.

Keep us in your thoughts and prayers- we’ve got one more week until the beta- next Thursday! So until then I’m planning on finishing a lot of wayward crafts, organizing and getting ready for the little bebes.

Best of luck to everyone else cycling/waiting now : )

Egg Update and my mind is spinning…

Saturdays are normally the day I sleep in. But… guess who called bright and early this morning at 8:10am?! The Embryologist. AGH!

So… when they did the egg retrieval they got 14 eggs. The doctor was expecting 8-10 and so 14 was a great thing to hear. Today the embryologist said that we had 12 eggs that were fertilized, and by today (day 2) 10 of them were still developing. She said they were all looking strong, which made me feel good. But, I have to admit that initially I felt kind of sad. I know it’s ridiculous but I really wanted all 14 to fertilize and make it to transfer or freeze. Again, I know that’s silly, but I had high hopes. I know that the more eggs you have sometimes the quality can suffer, but I don’t want to have to do this again. I want our family to be in those eggs so that we can build our home.

I still want to have hope, but I know this process is uncontrollable. I know it’s stupid for me to put the cart before the horse and worry about future kids when we aren’t even pregnant yet- but I guess that’s the whole thing. I’m grieving the loss of control. I envy other women who can “plan” when they have their kids. I’m envious of those who space their kids out perfectly, for those families that are big and loud and fun. I’ve always wanted a big family- at least 3 kids, and that was my minimum. I know that I’m not in control, but maybe I’m starting to realize in a very definitive way that the family I’ve dreamed of is going to be different. I know that once my family is here it won’t matter- or at least I hope it won’t, but I want to let myself be a little sad now.

Before we get pregnant, I want to let myself mourn the future I imagined. I want to feel the grief of not being intimate with my husband to conceive my babies. I want to give myself some space to not try to convince myself that “things could be worse”. I want a little pity party. And once I’m done, I’ll pick myself back up and be SO excited for our babies to come into our life.

I know that things will be great on Tuesday and I’m very hopeful that we will be pregnant in a few short weeks and that all of this will a faint memory compared to the new memories we are making. I have to believe that these feelings will diminish once I see our babies. And I’m confident that this process is going to work.

It has to.

ps- please continue to pray for the Lucky 10. Pray that they are strong and feel our love, and that they make it to transfer day/freezing. Thanks for all the support : )

Retrieval complete!

Woohoo!!!!

Last night I had my “final” meal of salted caramel frozen yogurt and Reese’s peanut butter cups. I know, not totally healthy, but totally yummy! I chugged 2 glasses of water before bed, did a vaginal steam and visualized my healthy, happy embryos and a receptive uterus!

I woke up at 545, put on my “comfy clothes”, washed my face and brushed my teeth. We got to the office at around 620, and no one was there. A nurse came to get us- her name was Dory like from finding nemo : ) And we went back to the room. She went over the protocol, reviewed that I had 14 mature eggs on my last ultrasound and talked about the anesthesia protocol. Then the doctor came in and said this retrieval should be a “slam dunk”. I asked him how many he had done and he replied, “Thousands. At this point I’ve stopped counting”. Cocky, yes, but it made me feel good. Then I had one last bathroom stop, laid down on the table for anesthesia and woke up in the recovery room. All was well and they got 14 eggs! So exciting!!! We are hoping for great fertilization reports and look forward to the phone call on Saturday.

My recovery is going well- the ride home was a bit bumpy, but not bad. I have had 2 gatorades, 3 glasses of water, chiptole, and a mcflurry. Again, not the healthiest, but nice. I also watched all of season 6 of Mad Men today- woah! Holy crazy ending! I don’t feel too crampy- I’m just on 2 extra strength Tylenol every 6 hours and a heating pad. I can walk normally, do stairs, etc. I REALLY want to get out of my house, but I guess that will happen tomorrow.

All in all- this was not that bad. I’m happy to be done with shots and anticipation and look forward to the fertilization report to come in.

Now I’m thinking: Healthy, receptive lining and GROW EMBIES GROW!!!

Keep sending prayers our way : )

Sayonara shots!

No more shots!!!

Last night was the trigger shot, and I have to admit I was a bit nervous. My husband was incredibly worried he would “mess it up” to which I said, “unless you shoot the medicine all over my butt or hit a bone, you’re fine”. I don’t think I should have mentioned bone to him, or let him see how big the needle was. It doesn’t make me feel too great when the person giving my shot is afraid of shots, blood, pain and messing up his job…. ugh! But at 730 on the dot I bent over the couch, put my face in the pillows and let him do his thing. If I’m being honest- it did hurt. The initial puncture wasn’t bad, but the pushing in of the needle and the meds made a burning sensation that I wasn’t a fan of. Afterwards I sat for about 10 minutes with a heating pad and we treated ourselves to some amazing Thai food. Job well done, team!

It was beautiful to wake up today and only take my tiny thyroid pill. I loved putting all of my medication away into the “meds bag” where it will hopefully stay forever. All in all, I feel pretty positive about tomorrow and I just want it to be transfer time. I’m in leggings and a tunic today and feel pretty bloated. I know it will probably get worse this week so I’m trying to hydrate a ton today and start my gatorade and miralax tonight. I’ve got a massage scheduled for Friday to calm my uterus the eff down after getting poked and prodded and I’ve got acupuncture set up for pre/post transfer.

Emotionally, though…

Last night as I was prepping the “area” for my shot and checking social media due to boredom, I received a call from a good friend. Let me be clear- we rarely call each other. We email, we go on trips, we text, but calls are not our thing. The first thing that came into my mind was, “She’s pregnant”. I tried to call back and she didn’t answer. I went online and saw an announcement from a family member that they are expecting in January. Now, I knew about this already, but the facebook announcements really get you in your gut. Not only that, but this family member had once told me that, “I’m not sure if I want to have kids, but I’d rather have one so I don’t regret not having one someday”. I LOVE this family member (one of my favorites, really) but this comment pushed me over the edge. THEN one of our close friends in our wedding announced that they, too were pregnant. Just after these revelations (not kidding) my friend called back to share the good news. She told me it happened A LOT faster than they thought and that they were excited. Really, though, did you have to say “a lot faster than we thought” to the person who has been trying to have babies for almost 4 years?

They come in 3s people… And while I’m so excited to meet all these little squishy humans, I can’t help but think- WHY is this so hard for us? WHY do we have to pay so much money? Why can’t we have it happen “faster than we thought”? I tried to spin this positively and think that “yes, we will have other babies to play with around our babies’ ages! Wonderful!” But I still can’t get rid of that gnawing feeling. While I feel so blessed to have the opportunity and resources to do IVF, while I have great supports, while so many things are blessings in my life- I’m tired of feeling like I have to do it the hard way. I’ve done it the hard way- none of my friends who got pregnant “easily” will have to learn to parent without their Moms. None of them will worry about how to start saving for college while paying off the medical bills that got their kids here. I’m not saying I think life should be easy for me or that I take my blessings for granted, I’m just trying to find some sense in a world that is hard to understand.

The bottom line is: I know that God has a plan for us. I know that during these awful, dark times God has been there in the form of friends, or flowers, or the beauty of creation to bring me back to the blessings in my life. I know that my husband and I will have a family, that we will be happy, and that this time in our lives will be like a tiny blip on the radar. Even though I know all of this- it still hurts.

So I’m looking forward to retrieval tomorrow, hoping that our babies will be able to join the newly announced ones in future play dates.

Baby dust to all- please keep us in your prayers the next week, it’s a big one!

Attain & Hypnotherapy

[I wrote this about 5 days ago and never pushed publish : ) ]

Ha! Never thought you would see those two words together, right!?

Well… I officially decided I wanted to back out of Attain. I emailed the woman and she said, “we would prefer if you stayed in it”. Well no shit lady, you want my money. I was fully prepared to pull the plug and watch the contract swirl the drain when my husband (who was against Attain in the first place) said we should “stay the course”. Now, I can’t remember what movie that is from (I’m thinking Mel Gibson said it to a hunky Heath Ledger in the Patriot right before he died?! Please confirm.) and so we are “staying the course”. I’m putting it this way in my head: If we get pregnant- who effing cares, we are pregnant and we have our babies and their business scheme worked and our money will go to some other couple or some fat corporate sleaze ball. If it doesn’t work, we still have 2 more shots and they are “free” (haha what a joke of a word!). So… my Jekyl/Hyde escapade has finished and we are staying in the program. I need to chill…

Which leads me to hypnotherapy.

As I mentioned previously I read a book on the Mind/Body Fertility connection. This book mentioned the important role our minds play in our fertility and how that piece is often overlooked in western medicine. So the premise is basically that positive thinking=positive results.

My first session involved a detailed life history to try to hit at some of the subconscious issues that may be keeping me from being open to having a baby. I went through the systems in my body that are responsible for actually making and caring for a baby and the other parts that help regulated hormones. I visualized my kidneys, my thalamus, my liver and then my ovaries and uterus. I gave them self care- mind massages if you will- and then I envisioned the fullest, most fluffy uterine lining I could. I’m sure it sounds weird, but it was comforting to think that I could help these parts of my body perform well by imagining them. So  I did this before my last IUI- and you guys, the craziest thing happened. I imagined the EXACT number of follicles they would find on each ovary. Now, I guess we could blame the failed IUI on me since I seemed to be greedy about my egg production, but woah! It was really neat. In addition to imagining my body systems, I also had to imagine a “relaxation space”. It was kind of hard to do at first, but I ended up imagining this serene space under a tree, which is where I go in my mind when I need to relax.

So after the failed IUI, I went back for another session. This time she had me imagine my body systems and my relaxation space, but with a twist- this time I was pregnant in my relaxation space! NEVER during my other visualizations has it been mentally possible for me to imagine myself pregnant. I’ve tried and I’ve been able to see someone pregnant- but it just didn’t seem like me. This session I FELT pregnant and it was amazing! She also had me envision my pregnancy week by week as my belly and babies grew- it was such an empowering exercise.

My final session involved climbing a huge mountain- filled with big rocks, rivers, and scratchy brush. My man was with me the whole time, helping me through the course. There were also others who helped us- the people who have been with us on this journey. But right at the end he sprinted ahead saying he would be waiting for me. The last part was grueling- a vertical summit. But once I got there I looked around and saw the back of my husband. I called his name, he turned around and was holding our babies so gently in his arms.

What a beautiful image to end on! So… That’s the last piece of this journey and one that had helped my mental attitude so much. I know we will have our family, and now, I can see it!

We have a trigger!

Yeah!

So my final numbers before trigger are:
29 total follicles
15 that measure above 16/are mature (14 that are between 12-15- so they may mature?!)

I will trigger tonight and retrieve on Thursday.

I’ve been seeing some big numbers in the blogging world lately of eggs retrieved,
so I was kind of hoping for some more (I hope that doesn’t sound greedy). But I do hope that what we have is happy and healthy and that maybe we can get a few more so that we can do some frozen cycles in the future.

Think happy thoughts and I will practice being in the present : )
Woop woop!

Also the ultrasound tech. congratulated me on working so “hard”. I laughed it off- it’s not like most of this was in my control… But I’ll take the compliment.

One more shot!!!