IVF3 Negative, Dusting Ourselves Off

We had our Beta this past Thursday and it was negative.

Yep. Not what any of us wanted to hear.

I was pretty upset and just let myself cry it out….and I forgot how exhausting the act of crying can be. I’d start to get myself together and then it would start back up. I was so very tired the rest of the night – my body and my heart were just tuckered out.

I was actually surprised at the news….we both were…..we both just had this sort of….inkling that it had worked. That and I had experienced some new symptoms: nausea, cramping, insomnia….and supes gross, my pee smelled weird. (Sorry, but some of you might be interested in symptoms, even the icky ones). All of these symptoms can be atributed to the progesterone and estrogen supplements, but I had not experienced any of these symptoms before…..so you can understand my curiosity.

So we’ve worked through our disappointment – no irrational thoughts or blame, just a good old-fashioned case of the really sads….and while there’s still some residual blues that will linger for awhile, we’re doing okay. It’s taken me a few days to write about it tough.

And then we began to discuss our next step. I had already gotten a referral to another RE here in town (as a just in case) that some ladies in my support group recommended, so I called his office to make an appointment. The receptionist could not have been nicer and we have an appointment to meet with the doctor on January 21st.

We also started talking about the two different adoption agencies that we have visited here in Chicago so that likely over the next few weeks we can make a decision as to which one of them we will go with. I will also need to call both of them to see if I they’re cool with my doing an IVF cycle at the same time as the get-the-ball-rolling initial appointments/potential home visit business.

The silver lining is that we leave tomorrow for a 2-week vacation to visit alot of friends. We put this trip off twice before and I asked my RE this time if it would be okay to go in case I actually got pregnant. She said it’d be fine, so we made plans. We cashed in a mess of frequent flyer miles, had a friend who gave us a few more and we made our itinerary, which initially included Amsterdam and London and then I snuck in 2 days in Paris as a surprise Christmas gift for my husband. I used to live in Amsterdam so we’re staying with friends., another friend is letting us stay in her family’s flat in Paris, and my husband’s best friend now lives in London so we’ll stay with them.  So luckily we’re able to keep the trip relatively cheap.

We’ll land first thing Tuesday morning….which is New Year’s Eve and also, my birthday. It’s always been nice to simultaneously reflect upon a calendar year and a year of living. I’m glad to put this past year to bed – we’ve learned alot and grown alot, but youch it’s been a doozy.

We both need a break and we’re going to get it. It’s been a tough year. We’re hanging in there though. Hope you are, too.

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Distractions: The Christmas Edition

To the untrained human, trying to get pregnant simply involves gettin’busy, knockin’ boots, makin’ bacon, the lust and thrust, the bump and grind, havin’ a bedroom rodeo, some hanky panky, gettin’ lucky, a roll in the hay, a good old fashioned shag…..

……but for those of us in the infertility trenches, we know getting pregnant means trying to hone your body into a perfectly balanced eco-system of hormones and chemicals you never knew you had while aligning the planets during a mystical creatures convention where a unicorn nods approvingly at you and The Cubs win The World Series.

It can be daunting.

For me, it boils down to having a constant stream of distractions, shiny objects and things to occupy my brain.  I share some here each week.

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How should one react to a disappointing Christmas gift?  Miranda Hart (BBC’s Call the Midwife) and David Walliams (Little Britain) give a bit of advice.  There are more of these on YouTube – go over there and check them out for a few more laughs.

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This is from my very favorite Christmas album: John Denver and The Muppets A Christmas Together. It’s not the best quality….but it’s from the 70s so what are you gonna do.

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Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carrey and The Roots, making some holiday magic. This song makes me so very happy – I defy you not to like it!!!

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A happy and healthy holiday season to you all!!! May you have tons of presents, food and friends/family all around.

Christmas Eve & 2 More Sleeps

It’s Christmas Eve (or Tuesday for any of you not playing along) which puts us 1 sleep away from Christmas presents and 2 sleeps away from our first beta to see how IVF3 will go down in the record books. Sure, I could take a home test here tomorrow but we’ve decided that a) the blood test is far more conclusive and b) WHY DO THAT TO OURSELVES ON CHRISTMAS!!!  I mean why. For real. It’s one more day. I’m 10dp3dt (10 days past a 3 day transfer) so I could even likely know now….but let’s bump it off and make the results even clearer with a bloodtest on Thursday. 

I’m feeling fine. Yesterday I felt off and wonky a better part of the day – crampy and sleepy…..which sure I could read into, and it’s hard not to….but I’m doing my best to just shake it off. Besides I feel mostly normal today.  As Scrooge said to the ghost of Jacob Marley, “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato.”  Yesterday’s cramps could have been Sunday night’s veggie chili or too many cups of chai tea latte/hot cocoa/egg nog.  ‘Tis the season.

The hubbo and I are both home today and we’re mostly being vegetables: lounging on the couch watching movies, wrapping some last gifts, taking the dog on numerous very short walks as it’s 5 degrees in Chicago and generally having a really nice lazy day.

I hope all of you are well and enjoying the holiday….or having the best Tuesday of your lives.

PIO leads to Knotbutt and Progesterboobs

We’re just about halfway through our 2ww wait here and as the double-edged sword would have it, I find myself without much work and with alot of free time. On one hand it’s time to fill within a period of time that I want to pass quickly…and work would certainly be a distraction. But, on the other hand, lots of free time has allowed me to knit a few last minute Christmas gifts and to watch a mess of stuff on Netflix.

It’s also been a week of progesterone shots (PIO)…(PIO = Progesterone in Oil) which are going fine. I do wonder if something has changed with the constitution of my butt cheeks as the shots are taking a little more of their sweet time to sink in. I mean, they’re sinking in, but I feel like I’m having to apply a bit more pressure and it takes a few more seconds until the needle slides in. It’s still fairly low on the discomfort scale (my apologies to anyone who thinks I’m a fucking BRAGGART) so I’m thankful for that.

One thing I’ve done, based on reading the suggestions of other people, is to warm the oil slightly before drawing it into the needle and plunging it into my butt.  How am I warming it you may ask? Why…..I’m putting that little bottle in my brassiere and letting it warm up with the help of my natural 98.6 degrees. It definitely works….though that bottle’s pretty cold, causing a bit of squirming the first second or two it’s on my mammary.

However, I don’t know what’s changed, but after at least 35-40 PIO shots thus far (spread across 1 IUI and 3 IVFs) I have my first two knots….conveniently located one in each cheek. It’s my understanding that knots form with the progesterone pools in one place.  My knots aren’t necessarily uncomfortable unless you press on them but it’s super weird to just feel a knotty mass in there. I do massage the injection site afterwards for awhile so I’m guessing I just finally fell prey to the dreaded knot. I used to sit on a heating pad after the shots….maybe I’ll go back to that tonight.

On the plus side the PIO shots have yet again caused a recurrence of Progesterboobs (boobs made bigger by progesterone supplementation). It’s actually just a subtle difference but hey, I’ll take it.

So far so good with the waiting, and only another week to go.

 

 

 

We Have Passengers

Yesterday morning we did a 3dt (3-day transfer) of 3 embryos…which we affectionately call “The Passengers.”

Had to fill bladder and be there by 10….which of course guaranteed they’d be running behind….which they were. First thing we did was meet with the embryologist who showed us pictures of our new friends and explained what we were working with. Of the 3 that had fertilized all made it to transfer and were:

1-8cell Grade A

8Aembryo

1-8cell Grade B

8Bembryo

and one 6-7 cell Grade B.

6or7embryo

They look like freaky blobs, right? These pictures are mostly a curiosity to me….because I barely know what I’m looking at….but they’re fun to have. They were all fertilized with ICSI and had assisted hatching – we’re covering all the bases.

Anyway – remember my full bladder? I sure do. I finally got taken into the room got all comfy on the table – covered in a blanket, legs in stirrups, my business on full display to the world. There’s no glory to be found when you’re in that position. Then everyone assembled. There’s the nurse, the embryologist and the doc and I know that one of the worst things about the entire IVF process was about to take place: the nurse placed the ultrasound wand on my stomach…..and pressed. PRESSED! On my full bladder, which by the way, looked friggin HUGE on the monitor….enough that that nurse said, “Oh my.” Yeah, what do you expect – y’all were tardy.

The transfer went just fine – I got to watch on the monitor as the culture medium and our new friends made their way into their new house. The Russian told me that she felt like this cycle was the best of any of them and wished us the best.  I had to wait on the table for 15 minutes before I had the most glorious pee of my entire life (second only to the one following IVF1), got dressed and was sent on my way with instructions: take it easy, no caffeine/booze/smoking/drugs, and keep up the progesterone shots (which I started Wednesday night after the retrieval).

We went out to breakfast and then headed home to relax on the couch for the rest of the day.

And thus it began: IVF3’s 2 week wait.

Triggers, Retrievals & Petri Dish Parties

Triggered Monday night with pregnyl at midnight and spent Tuesday needle-free. Glory be!

Yesterday morning we drove out to the Oak Brook office for the retrieval. We were due out there at 10:15, and I couldn’t eat or drink anything after midnight….so we stopped for bagels on the way out to have a snack ready to nosh.  If 2 IVFs have taught me anything, it’s that I’m gonna be friggin hungry once they give me the green light to eat post anesthesia. The clinic gives me some ginger ale and animal crackers post retrieval while the rest of the IV gets me hydrated, but that just takes the edge off.  Since there’s already going to be grogginess and crampiness in play, why put some food crankies in there as well? Plan ahead: have snacks at the ready.

Oh, one thing that was different this time – I got a second shot of pregnyl about 20-30 minutes before the retrieval. My RE wanted to use this as it may help with egg quality. It’s one more shot….at this point I just lift up my gown and bend over.

As I’m now recognized by the staff, there was a pretty relaxed atmosphere with me and a general silliness. The guy putting in my IV, my husband and I ended up coming up with a pretty good idea for a children’s book based on someone called Lumpy Bumpy and the woman trying to take my temp and blood pressure kept saying my fingers were way too cold….which led to questions of just how cold: “mortuary cold?”….”zombie cold?”   The Russian popped her head in and said she felt pretty good about the cycle and that it was time to get going.

I got in the room, we went over making sure it was me in the room and then I took a snooze.

I woke up in the chair back in the prep/recovery area.  My husband told me that The Russian had come in to say that they’d gotten 5 eggs. 5. We’d all hoped for more…..The Russian thought there’d be more. But we got 5, which is better than none.

Interesting point of coincidence: last night we also attended an open house at another adoption agency here in Chicago (couldn’t go in November, didn’t want to wait until January) so I like to think the universe is telling us: somehow folks….one way or another….this is going to work out for you guys.

Which leads us to today and the fertilization report – which I like to think comes after a night of petri dish partying: some sexy culture medium, an egg, a sperm, some romantic lighting, a glass of bubbly, a little Barry White…. Of the 5 eggs, 3 were mature and all three fertilized (we also had ICSI working for us, so no doubt that helped). Would I have liked all 5 to have fertilized? Sure. However, given my track record and age, I didn’t really think that was realistic, so I’m very happy with 3.

Now we wait to hear from The Russian (who will be talking to the embryologist sometime today) and she’ll let us know if we’re looking at a 3day (Saturday) or a 5day(Monday) transfer.

Two things I like/find intriguing:

1) Yesterday, the date was 11/12/13 (if you follow the European: date/month/year method…which for these purposes I will) – that’s as cool a day as any to have your petri dish party (and really, knowing the actual date of conception is at least one cool thing we get with IVF, right?).

And,

2) Our 2ww will end on…..Christmas Day.

So…..here’s hoping for a Christmas miracle!

Stims Going By In A Flash

Tonight will already be my 9th night of stims and so far, so good.  I’ve had some crankiness here and there but I would just as likely chalk that up to the grey days we’ve had in Chicago….or it could be the hormones, who knows. I had my second scan yesterday and things are growing in there…..slow and steady yet again, but it would seem we have approximately 8-10 follicles in play.

So….not much to report, other than things seem fine and that stims is flying by. Funny how that works – all the waiting and waiting and then the big show goes by in a hurry. I’ll go back in tomorrow morning and then likely again over the weekend since we’re getting close to trigger. My best guess is that Triggerville will take place Monday or Tuesday and I’m hoping for Monday as that would mean a Wednesday retrieval and (since a 3-day transfer is the most likely scenario) and a Saturday transfer – which selfishly FITS MY SCHEDULE BETTER.

I mean, I feel I’ve towed the line so much throughout 3 of these things….the least I could ask for is a little convenience with this one.

And now that I’ve put that out into the universe, the exact opposite will happen. Well, wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been bitten in the butt by my own big mouth.

Scan 3 will be tomorrow morning – the tech did say that I’ve likely hit the point at which they’ll start growing 1-2mm a day, so likely there’ll be some more movement.

I do have a fertility massage scheduled for tomorrow morning right after Scan 3 – had wanted it earlier in stims but apparently it’s pretty popular and tomorrow’s the earliest I could get in. It’s an “Enhance the Blood” massage and it’s supposed to be good for all sorts of things within this part of the cycle. I have a gig until 3am tonight though so I’m hoping I don’t just sleep through the whole thing….I want to enjoy that shit!

To all things, we shall see.