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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

26 weeks

It's been a while since I've posted a bump picture so I thought I'd post one taken during Christmas -- here I am at 26 weeks :)
Pregnancy continues to go well. Back pain is slowly getting better. I have a massage appointment tonight to undo the damage I did by riding in a car over 18 hours this weekend to see family for the holidays.

I noticed my first stretch marks today. On my thighs, which have gotten really big during my pregnancy. I'm not really all that worried about them -- I see them as a badge of honor at this point. The stretch marks that is. I'm not thrilled about the thunder thighs. But I hope they will decrease in size after the baby comes.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Illness update

Sorry I haven't posted. I've been exhausted. And trying to get work done, holiday shopping/plans done, and starting to plan for when the baby comes. I'm finally over the cold. I'm now recovering from the back pain. After several chiro visits, she thinks I a rib or two and pulled a muscle from all the coughing. I've had several chiro adjustments and massages over the past week. Ribs are hopefully back in place. Pulled muscle still sore but healing. It has been a very painful week. It's been hard to do anything bc I'm in so much pain. And not sleeping well bc in so much pain. But it's all from being pregnant (cold worse bc preggers, ribs easily poppable bc pregnant) so I remind myself of that when I get down about how long this recovery has been.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pregnancy Symptoms

Yesterday I moved bedrest to the bath tub to soak my aching back in some Epsom salts. There I read Jenny Mcarthy's Belly Laughs in which she describes her pregnancy symptoms. It's a nice read bc it normalizes a lot of the symptoms we experience during pregnancy, some of which I hadn't heard of/read about until they happened to me. If you can get your hands on a used copy of the book I recommend it (I don't really recommend buying it bc Ms. McCarthy is a spokesperson for perpetuating the urban legend that vaccinations cause autism, which my friends and colleagues who are experts in the treatment and research of autism confidently state the data do not support).

Anyway since I have some time today (bedrest and all) I thought I'd document some of my own pregnancy symptoms so those of you who are or who have been pregnant might relate and those of you TTC can be warned :)

Updated 12/27/11 so I have a record of my preg symptoms in one place.

Morning Sickness: I was one of the lucky ones in this department. I had a lot of nausea my first trimester that I chalk it up to the hormone meds I was on. I've read a good predictor of m/s is whether your mom had it. Mine didn't. And I think she passed that blessing onto me.

Hunger: This one I did have my first semester. When I was hungry, I was starving. There was no in between. And if I didn't eat immediately, I was really uncomfortable, light headed and angry. I learned to carry fruit and high protein snack bars with me everywhere, because I never knew when the hunger might strike. And when it did, it was ugly.

Cravings: I haven't really had a lot of these either. First trimester it was more about what I thought I could eat that wouldn't make me want to vomit. So there were lots of carbs, pizza, burgers, and other bland food. Very early on there was a lot of cottage cheese and lemonade. Second trimester there have been some meat cravings (I don't tend to eat a lot of meat but we're supposed to eat high-protein diets during pregnancy and it seems my body doesn't think my bean-filled diet is adequate). But so far not pickles with PB and sardines. I have developed a sweet tooth which I definitely did NOT have before the pregnancy. Before I was pregnant I considered myself someone with a salt-tooth (I'd pound a bag of chips and not even think about saving room for dessert). But now I do have cravings for cookies. This week's sweet was carrot cake. Yum!

Weight Gain: Which brings us to weight gain. I've read that 25-35 lbs is considered normal and good. I've gained ~ 20 lbs already, most of that in the first trimester. I think most of that was due to the hormone meds I was on and the need to eat lots and lots and lots of carbs to combat the nausea. My weight gain 2nd trimester comes in spurts and is at a much slower pace.

Swelling: This was one of my first signs of pregnancy. In fact, I had to take off my wedding rings really early on bc I woke up one morning bc my ring had cut my finger from all the swelling. (I now wear an adjustable ring that DH bought be a couple of years ago on a business trip bc I felt so naked without my wedding ring). I swelled so much so fast early in pregnancy that I couldn't fit into any of my regular clothes and had to switch pretty early on to maternity clothes (I couldn't even do the ol' wear your regular pants unbuttoned thing bc my thighs/butt/etc were all way too swollen to fit in my regular clothes). It was a bit ridiculous bc I didn't look pregnant yet. Just fat. But I thought it was silly to buy bigger regular clothes when I was going to need maternity clothes anyway. So I just skipped ahead to maternity clothes. I think the swelling calmed down 2nd trimester--once I started looking pregnant. Although when we traveled my feet got so swollen I got blisters wearing super comfy shoes so I've learned to only wear shoes that are as open as possible.

Gi-normous Boobs: Yes my boobs have already gotten huge. And the growth spurt happened in the first trimester! This I was so not expecting. I thought the girls owuld get bigger 3rd trimester in anticipation of breast feeding. Nope. First trimester, along with the swelling, the breast tenderness followed by massive growth. I'd say this was my 2nd symptom after the swelling. A friend gave me some maternity clothes including some nursing bras. And her nursing bras fit me after my growth spurt. They haven't grown since the spurt first trimester. But I'm scared of what they're planning on doing 3rd trimester. And I try not to even think about what they're going to do when my milk comes in. I won't be able to stand up straight.

Fatigue: This was another biggie during the first trimeseter. I would sleep ~ 10-12 hours per night and still need a nap or two per day. It slowly got better when I was in my 2nd trimester. It wasn't the miraculous transformation I've heard from women describe. It was a slower transition. I still more sleep per night than usual (~ 9-10 hours) but rarely nap. As someone who didn't nap at all prior to pregnancy the fact that I still sometimes need a nap during the day suggests my current napping is baby-induced. I let myself take them when I need them.

Back Pain: I don't always have back pain, but when I do, YOOWWWWWWWSSSSAAAAA! I had been warned about sciatica pain from friends who've had babies. And that sounds terrible. I luckily haven't had that. But what I wasn't warned about but I have had is back pain due to rib popping out. Yes. That's right. My ribs pop out. And it hurts like a mutha. It happens because our bodies need to make room for the baby. Just as our hips expand, our ribs expand to make room for our ever growing uterus (according to babycenter.com, mine is the size of a soccer ball this week). And bc they're all pliable and moveable and what have you, they can pop out. The first time this happened to me was ~ 18 weeks. It felt like I had a knife in my back. I was in so much pain I went to a chiropractor and before this I was a big chiro-skeptic. But she popped that sucker back in place and gave me some lifestyle changes to make to try to prevent it from happening again. And I was cured. Until this weekend. When I coughed so hard I popped at least one back out. It now hurts to cough. And I need to cough to get the mucus out of my lungs or the MD I saw think I'll get pneunomia. Which is really really bad for pregnant ladies. Luckily I have a chiro appt later this morning. So ribs popping. Not something I expected. Nor was backpain so early in pregnancy. Again, I expected that to happen in the 3rd trimester when I'd be carrying around so much extra weight in the front that it'd put pressure on my back. Nay nay. It happens much much sooner.

Frequent Urination: I pee all the time. Granted, I've always drunk a lot of water and preggers I drink even more. Pre-preg, I'd usually wake up 1x per night for a pee break. Now it's more like 3-4 times per night. I tried cutting back on the water so I could get more sleep but then my pee got dark yellow and I've always prided myself on my clear pee (yes that's right. It's the little things). It was weird to me to have all this peeing going on so early in the pregnancy. I expected it during my 3rd trimester when I have a little person doing backflips on my bladder. I did not expect it during my first trimester. But I read there are several potential causes including natural hormones, those pesky hormone meds I was on, and that I'm now peeing for 2. I learned in childbirth class that the amniotic fluid is refreshed every 3 hours. The dirty fluid has to go somewhere then right? So I assume I'm peeing for me and the baby these days.

Gas: In the first trimester, forget about it. There was no stopping my farts. Again, unexpected so early on. Makes sense this happens in the 3rd trimester when the baby's taking up so much room there's none left for air in your pipes. I didn't expect it first trimester. Luckily, I've gotten a break from breaking wind during the glorious 2nd trimester. And, also lucky for me, my DH has almost no sense of smell. So when I get hit by the uncontrollable need to fart up a storm next trimester, I can do so knowing I'm not totally gagging DH.

Skin Issues: There are so many we can get: Acne: First trimester, yes. My skin exploded. To the point I even broke down and wore make up. Me. I never wear make up bc it just makes my acne worse. But it was so bad I thought no way my students will believe I'm a grown up with that pizza face. So I did the make up thing. Second trimester, best skin of my life. No acne. It's wonderful! Linea Nigra I have a very very  faint one. Stretch marks: I noticed my first ones 26w4d. On my thighs, which is not surprising as they have gotten pretty huge during the IVF and pregnancy. None anywhere else...yet....

Dreams about my baby: I've had dreams about babies. But they are babies I know already. I've had some weird dreams (e.g., lately I've had dreams about my pets dying -- since they are currently my babies, maybe those dreams = fear something will happen to the baby??). Week 26 I had the first dream I remember being about my baby. I don't remember much. She was premature. And she turned out to be a boy instead of a girl. This dream baby boy was adorable and we were very happy to have him. He was healthy for being a premie and took to breastfeeding relatively easily. Maybe my subconscious coming to terms with the fact that the delivery may not go as planned?

Emotional roller coaster: After 2.5 years of hormone treatments, I almost forgot to include this one because I've been on an emotional roller coaster for years! But yes I do cry more often now. And sometimes when I start crying I can't stop even when whatever made me cry has gone away/is resolved/etc. I can also get uber frustrated with DH -- sometimes over legit things. Sometimes not.

Symptoms I luckily have not had (...yet...):
Constipation: I'm guessing maybe bc I didn't have any problems keeping food/water down I escaped this very common preg symptom.
Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, and Hemorrhoids: It's still early on but so far so good.

Hot flashes: I've always been somewhat sensitive to temp but I prefer to be hot that cold (thus I live in the South). So I don't think I've gotten more sensitive than usual.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Being sick while pregnant is the pits

After coughing so hard Friday night that I pulled a muscle in my back/popped a rib, I caved and went to the after hours clinic. I've had a dry, unproductive cough since last Sunday that's just been tearing up my throat and making it tough to sleep. Turns out I have a mild sinus infection but bc my belly's pushing on my lungs I'm not coughing up the ick and the doc thinks I'm at risk for pneumonia. So I'm under doctor's orders to stay in bed until I stop coughing. Today is day 2 of bed rest. It still REALLY hurts to cough (bc of the pulled muscle in my back or popped rib--whatever I did back there). I'm feeling much better (he gave me an antibiotic which I think has stopped the post nasal drip that was contributing to the dry cough). I plan to call my chiro tomorrow morning to see if she can fix my back.  I'm bored and tired of being sick. And a bit disappointed that I haven't been able to put up holiday decorations yet this year. But I understand that I need to do this for the baby so I'm sucking it up. 


Thus endeth today's whine session...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Colds and midwives

Thought I'd give an update since it's been a few weeks. I'll start with the less than great news -- I've had 3 colds in two weeks! I'm chalking it up to the fact that I've also traveled a lot in November and exposed myself to all those airplane germs. The cold I have now is just post nasal drip but wow is it kicking my ass. The drip irritates my throat which makes me cough. But it's an unproductive cough that just tears up my throat. Yesterday I coughed so hard I got a nose bleed. Then later I coughed so hard I made myself throw up. Yeah. It hasn't been fun.

Now the good news:
I scheduled an appointment with the hospital that has a birthing center! No more newbie OB and her rude staff! In fact, we're not even planning on seeing an OB anymore. I've scheduled my appt with a midwife at the hospital. It'll be the best of both worlds -- my treatment and birth will occur at a hospital (in case anything goes wrong) but my care will be handled by a midwife, someone trained in and specializing in natural/vaginal delivery. During the delivery there will be an OB on call in case medical intervention is necessary. And the birth rooms are adorable -- there's even a tub built in the room (not those plastic portable tubs at the other hospital) which just signaled their commitment to allowing women to labor naturally and provide women options so they can strive to have the birth experience they want. DH and I are very excited about this change!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

20 week check in

I've passed the halfway point in my pregnancy! So exciting!

A lot has happened in the past week:
1. Echo -- on Monday, Bambina Buckner had an echo to make sure her heart is developing normally. For mysterious reasons, ICSI babies have higher rates of heart defects. I'm happy to report that the cardiologist could find nothing wrong with our baby's heart! And I think he doesn't get many referrals where there's nothing wrong because he really kept looking and looking for something to be wrong (I think to make sure he wasn't just missing it). It seemed very thorough. And of course, great news!

2. Doula -- we have contracted with a doula. And I love her! DH and I met with her a couple of weeks ago and both feel very good about working with her. She'll be there for the delivery and will start helping us prep for it as we get closer to the due date. She also runs support groups for pregnant women/new moms that I attend each month so I get to see her there. She's so supportive of women and the birthing process and of women's choices (i.e., she doesn't seem dogmatic concerning one form of birth vs another -- rather she seems to primarily support women's right to choose our birth plan and to be an active participant in decisions regarding our care). From friends who've worked with her, we've also learned that she's there just as much for dad as for mom so will be there to support DH during the delivery as well -- both in terms of helping him help me as well as to support what DH will be going through during the delivery. I feel so good about having her on board.

3. We're changing our OB -- long story short, we had an interaction with the newbie OB that was the final straw. Not only do I not trust this OB (she made decisions about my care without checking with me, told me wrong info about how to test prenatally to see if our bambina has CF ) but her nurse and office staff do not provide the type of care to patients that I think we deserve (kept us waiting for over 1.5 hours for an OB appointment without info regarding how much longer the wait would be and wouldn't use that time for bloodwork etc, wouldn't let us reschedule, got VERY angry with me when I asked whether we could do some of this). So DH and I started looking into new OBs. And we were happily surprised to find out that the best birth center in the city is now in-network for me!!! So bye-bye newie OB with your rude office staff. We're off to see the best in town and be treated at a birth center which will be a much more pleasant experience for the delivery anyway.


I was so worried that I was going to be stuck with newbie OB (bc my insurance didn't really cover other practices and her practice has a policy of no changing OBs within the practice) and I really was not trusting her so was nervous about the quality of my prenatal care and scared for if anything goes wrong during the delivery.

So things are really working out and coming together.  I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. It feels surreal But so exciting!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Insomnia

So I woke up at 4:30AM this morning and can't get back to sleep. I went to sleep at 10PM last night bc I was EXHAUSTED. I think I may be fighting a cold. And I was exposed to pneumonia over the weekend so trying to rest my body so I don't get that. So why am I awake? I don't feel anxious. Is this a symptom of pregnancy (I don't usually have any kind of insomnia problems)? Must track down "What to Expect" - somewhere in the dark around here...

In fun news - I can feel the baby moving! I've been able to feel her move the past couple of days and this morning she is really going at it (although I can't imagine she's what's keeping me awake). As has been described to me, the movement feels like bubbles. Almost like gas bubbles but in the wrong place--they are in the front of my belly so don't feel quite like gas. It's pretty amazing. So, if I'm going to be awake at this ridiculous hour, it's kind of cute that the baby is keeping me company :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's a Girl!

It's a girl!!! And according to the ultrasound tech, the anatomy scan looks good. We got to see her head, spine, ribs, hands and feet, arms and legs, brain, bladder, heart beating (and heart chambers), her lady parts, and probably others that I'm forgetting in all the excitement. Her size and heart rate are right on target for her age. Below is a picture from this morning's ultra sound.






The annoying part of the visit was that we then had to wait over an hour to see the OB. I'm not even sure what the appt was supposed to be for, but she never showed. After waiting an hour, I asked whether we could at least get bloodwork done in the meantime. They looked at me like I was a crazy person. But DH was there and we want to use as little of his personal days as possible so we can save them for when the baby comes. Not waste them sitting in the OB's waiting room. So I pressed the issue and they let me get the blood drawn. But they were very rude. They didn't seem to understand that I was asking why patients aren't notified when the OB has to go deliver a baby (that's where she was) so we can choose to reschedule if our schedules don't permit us to sit for hours in the waiting room. They somehow interpreted this question as me being belligerent or something. So we never got to these the OB. Hope the appt wasn't important. Seems to me the important thing was to do the scan and get the bloodwork done. But wow the experience made me realize (yet again) how most MD's suck and have no respect for their patients. And how wonderful CCRM is in that they treat their patients like people not like $$.


So DH and I are trying to not let the bad experience with the stupid OB affect how happy we are that we're having a little girl and that she's healthy!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

By popular demand -- the baby bump

Here's a pic of the 16.5 week baby bump. In just the past couple of days it's really morphed from a belly that could just be chubby to a pregnant lady's belly. And, as you can see, it's become a true booby-do :) And that's with my boobs growing almost as fast as my bump (I'm up 2 cup sizes already!). Sorry if this is all TMI -- but I figure if I'm going to document I'll tell you all the fun details :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Had OB appt (with newbie OB)

I had an appt with the newbie OB today who I'll continue to see until I find a new OB. The good news is that everything looks great! There results from my bloodwork and u/s suggest that the risk of c-somal abnormalities are very low (which isn't surprising given we did CCS but it's still great to hear). I got to hear baby B's heart beat which was also good.

Next appt will be in 4 weeks (just before GA 20w). At that time we'll do a comprehensive anatomy scan and hopefully learn the baby's gender. In the meantime, they'll be scheduling me for an echo so they can check out the baby's heart structure given ICSI babies tend to have more defects (this procedure recommended by CCRM).

It's definitely going to feel weird to go FOUR weeks without someone poking and prodding me and the baby. Last week was the first week since the FET that I haven't had blood drawn. Don't get me wrong -- it's nice giving my poor veins a break (and getting some time for my track marks to heal). But a bit surreal to think I won't have more regular reassurance that the baby's doing well. Newbie OB said that I'm welcome to come in before then if I want to hear the heartbeat but I think I'll try to stick it out and see how it feels to be a "normal" pregnant woman :)

Also it's not as though I don't have a lot to do re: the baby. I'm going to an "exceptional birthing" class tonight hosted by a doula to start to learn about my birthing options. I have lunch Thurs with a new friend who recently had a baby in town so I can get her advice on OBs etc. And if we find a new OB to try, DH and I may schedule a consultation appt to see if we like the new OB.

Reminders that not all docs are ccrm docs

Found out that the ob I want to transfer to won't see me because he "works side by side" with the ob I want to leave. By side by side he means that they are in the same call group. I explained that I have no problem w her but want a doc w more experience to oversee my care. He just won't do it. Ugh! I'm sad bc this ob was highly recommended to me by three friends who recently had babies. So now I'm stuck w the newbie ob until I can figure out who to try next. I'm so upset. After all we've been through I'd like an ob I can trust. And I have lost faith in his newbie ob. I'm pretty sure my baby is her first IVF baby. Her nurse can never figure out what week I'm in bc my due date isn't calculated from last AF. Seriously?! The last straw was not only did newbie make assumptions about my care but then after consulting w maternal and fetal medicine about in utero screening for CF, gave me the wrong info. Which I wouldntve have known if not for several meetings w genetic counselors.

So the search is on for a new ob... Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

We are completely out

Last night DH and I posted the news that we're pregnant on facebook so we are not officially, publicly, out (i.e., our pregnancy is now public news). So those of you who've been so wonderful about not sharing out news until we were ready (which we greatly appreciate btw) are now free to share with the world :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

screening tests, graduation, and coming out

My 2nd trimester officially began Friday. Here's the update:
1. we had the ultrasound test for possible chromosome issues (they measure back of the baby's neck for potential size abnormalities that may signal Downs or other trisomy). I had to have 3 different ultraounds over a 2 week period to get the measurement -- because of my retroverted uterus (and, as one u/s tech said, my stubborn baby -- what? me have a stubborn baby?!? s/he will, after all, be an Aries like her/his momma and maternal grandpa--stubborn runs in the family). But the 3rd time was a charm and we got the reading. All looks normal. Which wasn't too surprising given the CCS but it was nice to get the reassurance that they did transfer to chromasomally normal embie (hey doctors are human too and can make mistakes).

The cool thing about all those ultrasounds was I got to see my baby way more often than most mom's get it. So amazing to see him/her moving around, looking so healthy and beautiful.

2. my hormone levels (estradiol and progesterone) continue to look good so I'm still drug free. And have officially graduated from CCRM. My care is officially, completely transferred to local OB. I'm a "normal" pregnant woman these days :) (normal is bunny normal because all IVF pregnancies are considered high risk and my age means my pregnancy is also high risk so other than that, it's normal).

3. DH and I decided to not test for CF at this point. We decided that the risk is so low given the PGD that why increase the baby's risk of m/c? Also we didn't want to do CVS (m/c risk 1 in 30) which left amnio (m/c risk 1 in 300). But the glitch with amnio is that we wouldn't get the results back until ~ 20 weeks. Finding out if the baby has CF would really only help us (1) decide whether to terminate (which we decided we wouldn't feel comfortable doing at 20 weeks) or (2) help us prep emotionally and practically for a CF baby. The odds are low the baby will have CF and if s/he does, we'll cope with that when the time comes. So in the end it didn't seem worth it to us to do the testing.

4. I came out as pregnant at work on Friday. Now that I'm in my 2nd trimester I'm starting to feel more confident that this pregnancy is going to work. And I'm starting to show so I can't really hide it much longer. So I told my area head who was very supportive (you never know -- getting pregnant before tenure is still considered a no-no by many even in my field. But he seemed very happy for me) and my grad students who were also very supportive. It'll be nice to not feel like I'm hiding something any more at work. And to not worry about whether my bump is showing anymore. Less worrying = good.

In other news:
I'll have an echo ~ 20 weeks because ICSI babies have higher risk of heart defects so they want to test for that early. Around that time should also be when we find out the baby's gender. Can't wait!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Drug-free!!!

My estradiol level came back at 941 Friday which means all continues to look good hormonally and I'm off all hormone meds! I'm so excited to see how my pregnancy feels without hormone support. I'm hoping like my mom's who had no morning sickness, etc.

I've heard from some of my CCRM friends that this transition can be scary because it means no more hormone support and we have to rely on our bodies to take care of the baby. Although I can certainly understand that scare, I haven't had it yet. Rather, I have this wonderful sense that my baby is actually healthy and the pregnancy is actually going well so we don't need the extra support. Of course, I'm a bit worried that I'm jinxing it by even writing that, but that's how I feel -- and it's a wonderful feeling :)

I haven't graduated from CCRM yet. They want to check my estradiol this afternoon and if that looks good, then I think I may be graduating. I'll let you know what they say...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

holy 2nd trimester Batman!

Below is a pic of the baby at 12.5 weeks. S/he's doing great! Was sitting straight up and starting to really move in there. S/he seems to like bringing her/his arm to face then back down again in a manner that looks like waving at the camera :) And at one point during the ultrasound s/he stretched -- it was adorable!

Size of the baby and my uterus all look good. The heart rate was 165 which she said was perfect. I'm nearly off all my meds (only on 1 Vivelle [ERT] patch every other day), so soon I'll be a normal high-risk geriatric pregnancy (i.e., I'll graduate from CCRM and just be under the care of my OB). The pregnancy will always be considered high risk because it's an IVF pregnancy and because I'm over 35. So other than the blow to my ego that comes with being "geriatric", we're all doing great!

I'm considering changing OBs. The one I'm working with right now is very nice and shares a lot of my and DH's thoughts about delivery. But she's very new to practicing -- has only been practicing about a year. And at first I thought that might be a plus -- that she'd be up on the research etc having just got out of school. But I'm starting to think there's also something to be said for experience. For example, I asked her today when we can get tested for CF to confirm the baby is CF negative. Her first response was "When the baby's born". What what what?!? So I followed-up that no we'd like prenatal testing to confirm the PGD worked. She stated that she assumed that since we worked so hard to get this baby that we wouldn't want to do anything to increase risk of m/c (can only test for CF in utero with amnio which has risk of m/c 1/300 cases). I was disappointed that she would make that assumption without asking us esp since we went to all this trouble to do what we can to have a healthy baby.  I want an OB who tells me my options and then lets DH and I decide rather than making assumptions. If I didn't remember from our meeting with the genetic counselor that about now is the time to get tested for CF, we could have never gotten tested.

The other red flag -- she's going to call the people that do the testing today bc she actually doesn't know all the details of when to test, whether I need amnio or a more invasive test for CF, etc. Again, suggests she doesn't have a whole lot of experience/knowledge about how to treat a patient like me. I appreciate that she's looking into it but at the same time, as a high-risk geriatric pregnancy I think I want my OB to know stuff so she can act in the moment just in case anything goes wrong.

Friday, September 16, 2011

12 week bloodwork

My levels continue to look good. Estradiol level is 858, Progesterone is 20. I can decrease the Vivelle (ERT) patches from 2 to 1 every other day and I can stop Prometrium altogether.

Symptoms are doing better for the most part. I am EXHAUSTED a lot of the time. I take naps when i can but a lot of days I can't. So work has been much less productive than I would like. But that's a small price to pay for having gotten this far.


I have an u/s Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing our baby again :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

10.5 week OB appt

Had my 10.5 week OB appt yesterday. All looks good--I got to see the baby and his/her heartbeat. No picture this time because we used a little portable u/s machine without a printer.

We did have a funny/scary moment -- during the appt I asked my OB about exercise. I said something like "assuming the baby is still there and has a heart beat today, I was thinking about starting some low impact exercise if I've made it to 10.5 weeks". She couldn't believe I said that -- she said most patients would vomit at the thought that their baby was no longer alive and well. My response was something like "well, after 2 years of battling IF, you get used to adjusting your expectations just in case things don't work out". She assured me that my baby would be fine and told me to hop up on the table so we could listen to the heartbeat as proof.

Then she couldn't find the heartbeat.


So my OB starts to panic and goes and gets a portable u/s machine so we can see the baby's heartbeat since she can't find it with the doppler to hear it. She found the baby and we both exhaled a sigh of relief when we saw the precious heartbeat, proof that my baby is alive and well.

She then grabbed the doppler so we could hear it. Again she couldn't find it. She had me go pee since maybe my full bladder was preventing her from finding it. Still nothing. By now she's worried that she's freaking me out since I can't hear the heartbeat. I assure her that after all I've gone through, just seeing the baby's heartbeat is enough, esp since she said the heart rate looked good on the u/s. So I didn't get to hear the baby but did get to see him/her which is amazing and wonderful and enough to reassure me that all is well.

What I forgot about until much later was that an u/s tech told me during my last u/s that because I have a retroverted uterus, it can be hard for OBs to find the heartbeat at this stage.

So the baby is doing well, I'm doing well. They took a ton of blood for various tests so I'll post if anything significant comes out of those tests. Otherwise I continue with my 1 prometrium pill and 3 Vivelle (ERT) patches.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pregnancy symptoms: 9.5 weeks

I'm doing pretty well considering this is the first trimester of my first pregnancy. More nausea this week than I've had recently but the seabands, preggie pop drops, and strategies to rest/limit stress seems to help (e.g., I've been working from home when I can so I can put my feet up when I need to, take naps, etc). I'm tired a lot but I let myself sleep 8-10 hours per night (whatever my body wants) and nap 1x per day most days (or at lease lie down w feet up and eyes closed for ~ 20 min). It seems to help. No real cravings but definitely food aversions. Nothing consistent but sometimes some foods just seem icky including things I love (e.g., salmon -- I never thought that would happen!).  Rather than cravings there are times when only certain foods sound like they won't make me barf (and anything else might). so it's less that I really want a certain food and more like it's the only thing that I can imagine eating and not feeling worse. My OB has offered to give me a Rx for the nausea but I don't think it's debilitating so I'll wait for meds unless I feel I really need them. I've been on so many meds to get to this point, continue to be on the hormones, etc that I'd like to do without meds at least through first trimester to give my and my baby's bodies a chance to do things naturally.

I gained weight this week -- I think it's baby weight although it could be lack of exercise/increased eating to combat nausea that's done it. This is the first weight I've gained since preggers and it's 3 lbs. The recommendations are to gain no more than 5 in the first trimester. I want to try to stick to that since I entered this pregnancy with a BMI of 26 thanks to 1.5 years of hormone treatments. Out of concern for the effects of maternal obesity on the baby--I have no worries about how gaining weight will affect my body image etc at this point. I've already wrestled with and beaten down those thoughts during the IF weight gain.

I also have a cold today. DH had it yesterday and is already feeling better today so we're pretty sure it's not the flu. But I'm taking the day off work today to rest since my immune system is weaker than his due to the pregnancy. So I want to try to direct all my energy to fighting this thing so it doesn't affect the baby. Plus it's making me even more tired than usual so I can't really focus enough to get work done anyway. Thank goodness for Netflix. I'll have a Mad Men marathon day today. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

9 weeks update

here's what going on with my baby this week (from babycenter.com):

Your new resident is nearly an inch long — about the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce. She's starting to look more and more human. Her essential body parts are accounted for, though they'll go through plenty of fine-tuning in the coming months. Other changes abound: Your baby's heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form — as do her tiny teeth. The embryonic "tail" is completely gone. Your baby's organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear. The external sex organs are there but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. Her eyes are fully formed, but her eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. She has tiny earlobes, and her mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The placenta is developed enough now to take over most of the critical job of producing hormones. Now that your baby's basic physiology is in place, she's poised for rapid weight gain.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

8w4d ultrasound

We had our 8.5 week ultrasound today. We got to hear our bean's heartbeat and see his/her brain (the black spot in the baby's head isn't airheadedness but huge brainage), head, spinal column, and arm and leg buds. Heart rate and size are all good. fyi -- the small sac in the upper left hand corner is a hormone sac that takes care of our bean until my placenta kicks in (~ 12 weeks).

Our ultrasound tech (who has 4 kids) describe
our bean's size/shape as similar to a Teddy-graham. DH now imagines our baby as a mini-bear cooked to a golden crispy brown, which is so cute.

Here's the pic of our little
Teddy-graham. The arrows point (from top down) to head, arm bud, and leg bud:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 8 -- what my baby's up to

from babycenter.com:

New this week: Webbed fingers and toes are poking out from your baby's hands and feet, his eyelids practically cover his eyes, breathing tubes extend from his throat to the branches of his developing lungs, and his "tail" is just about gone. In his brain, nerve cells are branching out to connect with one another, forming primitive neural pathways. You may be daydreaming about your baby as one sex or the other, but the external genitals still haven't developed enough to reveal whether you're having a boy or a girl. Either way, your baby — about the size of a kidney bean — is constantly moving and shifting, though you still can't feel it.

Week 8 bloodwork

You read that right -- I'm 8 weeks pregnant! This feels like quite a milestone as the first 8 weeks as especially high-risk. I'm so excited for Tuesday's ultrasound to get confirmation that our little bean is still doing well. But in the meantime I have to settle for blood tests. My nurse said they continue to look good:

e2=2,368
p4=15.51

So I get to wean off hte drugs even more! yay! I can stop the estrace altogether (the estrogen pills that I've been inserting vaginally 2x per day) and reduce my prometrium from 3x per day to 2x per day. This is huge for two reasons -- my nurse thinks that I'm probably so bloated because my e2 levels are so high so doing away with the estrace should help with that and wow I would love to be less bloated. Also the prometrium is the pill that I have to lay down for 30 min after I insert vaginally. So my only having to take 2x per day I can do in the AM before work and in the PM before bed and do away with the mid-day pill that was such a pain (tough to find a good time during the day to lay down for 30 mins -- and that's without a child!).

I've been feeling pretty good. Tired a lot. Taking some naps which for me is new as I'm not a napper. Bloated but that's nothing new. The nausea comes and goes. It's not consistent like it used to be which I think may be from reducing my e2 Vivelle patches from 4 to 3. So I'm having a lovely 1st trimester all things considered. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Week 7 bloodwork

My weekly bloodwork results (sorry I didn't post these sooner -- the lab f'ed up and didn't do them Friday and I was out of town all weekend -- relaxing with DH and dear friends in Pennsacola Beach):

p4: 13
e2: 2332

CCRM nurse said these numbers are good. So we're starting to wean me off my meds (yay!). Starting with switching from 4 Vivelle patches (ERT) every other day to 3 patches. All else says the same for now.


 
 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I'd like to introduce you to our baby

We had our 6w4d ultrasound this AM. It was the most amazing thing I've ever seen. Here's our baby:


And we could see and hear the baby's heartbeat!!! I am in awe that this precious little baby is alive and well inside me.


Tears of joy just started streaming the second I saw the baby and then more when I saw the heart beat. And DH was kissing me and grasping my hands and then taking out his i-phone to record the heart beat then kissing me some more. We were both just so amazed by this!
 
Heard from CCRM -- heart rate was 106 which they say is a good result. And my nurse says that the size was also good. Yay for my healthy little bean!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

morning sickness

I now have no doubt about it -- morning sickness has set in. For the past few days, I have been nauseous all day long. It's better if I eat every 1-2 hours but I'm starting to find that's tough to do when you want to throw up! Luckily I haven't thrown up yet but the nausea does make it tough to be productive at work.

I've tried sea bands with mixed results. Some days I feel like they may be helping but other times I wonder if that's placebo effect. Today is one of the latter days.

The good news is that morning sickness = pregnancy! And I feel pretty confident now that this nausea is due to pregnancy and not to my medications.

Can't wait to see our little bean during tomorrow's ultrasound!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Week 6 bloodwork results

Everything continues to look good:
HCG=19,917, p4=9.04, e2=2,449

It's hard to believe our little bean is still in there and still growing strong but the numbers suggest that is in fact the case! I'm to stay on my same medications. Our ultrasound is scheduled for Tuesday.

Week 6

Here's what's going on with the little bean this week (from babycenter.com):

This week's major developments: The nose, mouth, and ears that you'll spend so much time kissing in eight months are beginning to take shape. If you could see into your uterus, you'd find an oversize head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils are starting to form. His emerging ears are marked by small depressions on the sides of the head, and his arms and legs by protruding buds. His heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute — almost twice as fast as yours — and blood is beginning to course through his body. His intestines are developing, and the bud of tissue that will give rise to his lungs has appeared. His pituitary gland is forming, as are the rest of his brain, muscles, and bones. Right now, your baby is a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a lentil.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reassurance seeking

Well it's that time again. It's midway through the week and it's been a while since a medical professional reassured me that I am, in fact, pregnant. Thus, time to POAS to reassure myself.

Yep, still pregnant.

I have blodwork tomorrow to see how my e2 and p4 are doing. I'll throw in an HCG test as well because I like to hear that one is doing well too.

Today I'm trying sea bands. The nausea has gotten worse the past couple of days. Morning sickness starts around 6 weeks and given how my body likes to be nauseaus in response to girly hormones, I'm not surpised mine has come early. No puking thankfully and I hope it stays that way. But the neausea does make it hard to concentrate on work. And I'd like to be productive this summer and into Fall so if/when I'm less productive in the Spring and next Summer, it'll all even out. I've read mixed reviews about the sea bands so I'll let you know if they work for me.

Also the bloat has gotten worse. Yesterday I seriously looked preggers. Even in my A-line shirts that I've been wearing to cover the bloat -- a very clear bloat bump was visible. I'm hoping today's bloat doesn't get that bad. Not only is it uncomfortable but I'm headed into the office later today and am not ready for people who don't know I'm preggers to start asking (in case this doesn't work. which I know it probably will but still I'm not ready to deal with that yet).

Of course I love my pregnancy symptoms because they mean I'm pregnant! And they give me some reassurance that the little bean is progressing.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I must know who's going to deliver my baby at 5.5 weeks?!? Seriously?!?

I just called my OB/GYN's office to reschedule my 6.5 week ultrasound from Monday (when I thought I was supposed to do it) to Tuesday (when my nurse actually wants me to do it). My OB/GYN isn't available to do it on Tuesday. So I asked if someone else in the office could do it. The person on the phone told me no because if Dr. B (my OB/GYN) is going to deliver the baby then she has to do the u/s. I told them I have no idea at this point who's doing to deliver. I'm only 5.5 weeks pregnant. She insisted that whoever does the u/s has to deliver my baby. When I told her that I just need the u/s because my care is being coordinated out of state I think she almost lost her mind. She refused to schedule me for an u/s because I couldn't guarantee that the MD who did my u/s would be the one to deliver my baby. WTF?!  I know lots of women who switch from their OB/GYN to a different OB once they are preggers. This is not uncommon. And yet you'd think I'm the most high maintenance pregnant woman in this city!

So I just scheduled an appointment with the imaging center in the hospital that in-network for my insurance. I was hoping to get to do it with my OB/GYN or someone in her office (so we could share the moment with someone who somewhat knows us) but oh well. A tech that I've never met it is. DH will be with me so he and I can share the moment together regardless of who else is in the room.

What a weirdo that lady was. I tell ya, dealing with MD's, nurses, hospitals, scheduling people, insurance companies...It's enough to drive a girl bonkers. Do these people lose sight of the fact that their are in a customer service industry? That they have jobs that involve helping people? Seriously. Shame on them.

Ah CCRM I miss you already and I haven't even transitioned away from being your patient yet!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Child care

I just mailed off my application for the university's child care center. Yes I know my embie's only 5w3d old. But that's how things work down here. As soon as your preggers you need to get on the list because there's a LONG waiting list. So this application will put us on the waitlist for August 2012. If everything works out, the bean will be 4-5 months old by August and I'll have been able to stay at home with him/her from March-August which will be awesome.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 5 levels

As part of CCRM's monitoring of my pregnancy I'm getting bloodwork done weekly. Here are the results from Friday's tests:
Estradiol: 2498 (anything over 300 is good)
Progesterone: 8.88 (anything over 5 is good)
HCG: 2356 (means the bean is continuing to grow)

Given my E2 and p4 levels are doing so well, we'll start weaning me off the ERT and p4 suppositories after my first ultrasound which will be early next week.

I am so glad for these weekly tests -- it's so reassuring to hear that my levels are looking good and that it looks like the bean is still in there and growing strong.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Week 5

Here's what's going on with our little bean this week (From babycenter.com):

Deep in your uterus your embryo is growing at a furious pace. At this point, he's about the size of a sesame seed, and he looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. He's now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm — which will later form all of his organs and tissues.
The neural tube — from which your baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — is starting to develop in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel.
His heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form your baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue.
The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as his thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Still pregnant

Apparently I need more regular confirmation that I'm really still pregnant than what CCRM is giving me (CCRM is having me do 1 blood test per week). It's been since Sunday that I've had a blood test (which I think is just way too much time!!! I'd like daily tests please. Hourly if my veins can swing it!). So I took another HPT today. This one is different from the one I used last week so I don't know yet if the line is getting darker. But here's today's confirmation that I'm still pregnant (for those who don't obsessively POAS, 1 line is BFN, 2 lines is BFP):

Monday, July 25, 2011

the official call from Dr. Surrey

I got the official "you're pregnant" call from Dr. S today :) He said everything looks good. I asked him some questions of the questions DH and I came up with -- things we haven't asked yet because we didn't think we'd get to this point.

1. Miscarriage risk rate -- According to Dr. S, it's 5-6% because we did the CCS. 5-6%! Can you freaking believe it!?! This made me shed tears of joy. I thought it'd be much higher.

2. Gender -- DH and I aren't ready to find out little bean's gender yet but I asked whether that's something CCRM would tell us when we get to the point we are ready to learn it. He said that ID'ing the sex is actually the least accurate part of what they do so they don't give it.

3. When do we transfer care to local OB/GYN -- at around 8 weeks (I'm at 4 weeks 3 days today). In the meantime I'll do weekly-ish blood tests to monitor hormone levels. I'll have ultrasounds at 6 and 8 weeks. If all looks good at 6 weeks they'll start to wean me off the hormone supplements. If all continues to look good at 8 weeks, they'll pass me off to OB/GYN for care. It's crazy to think that in 4 weeks I could potentially be a normally pregnant woman and not an infertile. Awesome. But crazy.

4. Tips for success -- the usual: Don't eat raw meat. Don't exercise any more than walking until the 8 week u/s then I can increase it. DHA is OK after all (my nurse said to stop it). Watch my mercury intake down here in fish country.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Still Pregnant

Here's one of the most beautiful things I've seen all year. My BFP from an HPT:



Good news all around today. The biggest of course being that I'm still pregnant. My beta more than doubled from 85 on Friday to 209.7 today. At this stage we want to see it at least double so we are right on target.

How, you may ask, did I get my beta checked on a Sunday? In Louisiana? The answer is simple -- at a hospital. Who knew?!? Not me. But after LapCorp's shenanigans on Friday I have broken up with them and decided to take my business elsewhere. This is after breaking up with my local RE and didn't want to have to try to go back there. So I looked up labs on my insurance company's website and poof -- hospitals. I called and they said yes they can do it, yes they can do it STAT, and yes they can do it on weekends. I felt like a kid at Christmas. No one else (local RE, labcorp, Quest) will see me on weekends. So this was super awesome.

And the experience there was pleasant (well as pleasant as getting stick in the arm with a needle first thing on a rainy Sunday morning can be). I checked in at the ER and just told them I had orders from my doctor for an outpatient blood draw. We were in and out in no time. I highly recommend this as an option for anyone else frustrated with their local RE and unable to use LapCorp/Quest on weekends.
 I think I'll also look into whether they can do my ultrasounds. Because hopefully they too have flexible hours. And maybe they will have lube for the dildo cam.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Finally -- I'm pregnant!!!!!

My beta was 85. Anything over 5 is pregnant but CCRM likes to see it over 50. So we're firmly pregnant :)  I'm technically 4 weeks 1 day pregnant.

I'll have another beta test Sunday if I can find any place here that will do blood test on a Sunday. Then I'll get weekly blood tests to monitor little bean's progress. An ultrasound at 6 weeks 3 days.

We're still in our first trimester so like any pregnancy there is risk of miscarriage. My orders are to take it easy. No high impact exercise and no yoga (not even gentle yoga). But I can take walks and bike rides so that makes me happy. I want to be healthy for the little bean.

So of course the question is...now what?!? We've been working so hard for the past 2 years to get pregnant. I know nothing about being pregnant. Or preparing for a baby. So any tips you all have are very welcome!

And please continue to keep us and our little bean in your thoughts.

I'll continue to post updates here.

my nurse if fucking with me

Seriously. I don't know what I did to piss  her off. She told me yesterday that she would call me at 7:30AM mountain time (when she gets in the office this AM) to tell me the results. I called her at that time and left a message to remind her as per her request. When I didn't hear from her an hour later, I called and left another message. I then sent her an email. I also called LapCorp thinking maybe she didn't recieve the results from them. They state they faxed the results this morning. So I just left anohter voicemail and sent another email begging her to call.

This is absolutely ridiculous. Why the F won't she call me?!? Why the F can't the lab just give me my results? They are after all my results. This is totally stressing me out which, if I am pregnant, is just totally counter-indicated. Why is she making this so much more difficult than it needs to be?!?

Friday, July 22, 2011

No result (aka I hate Lap Corp...and am not happy with CCRM)


CCRM didn't write STAT on my lab orders so the lab didn't run the blood today. So no beta results.
And my nurse didn't call me back all day today despite my leaving several voicemails and emails. I finally called the CCRM main number and spoke to the receptionist and explained that it was 4:45PM CST and the lab closes at 5PM so I needed confirmation regarding whether they got my labs or not ASAP so I coudl call the lab before it closed. She looked into it, called me back, and told me they never got the results. So I called LapCorp who didn't pick up the f'ing phone. So DH and I both left our works and drove like mad to LapCorp to try to get there before close. No luck. On my way though I finally got through to a LapCorp customer service number and that's when I was informed that they didn't run it because it wasn't STAT. 
My nurse finally  called me back after I left a message crying and begging her to call me. I requested that they please put into place a system for patients to find out if CCRM has received test results so that ohther women don't have to go through what I'm going through. She apologized a lot and stated that this is a big deal so she will look into whether LapCorp can run the test tonight and get her the results tonight. She's on call tonight so could call me with the results. But Lab Corp won't call her with the results tonight they will only fax them tomorrow morning.

I had my blood drawn at 7:30AM this morning so it is so frustrating to me that I couldn't find out until 4:45PM that they didn't run my blood.
I am so mad at CCRM for not having a better communications system with their out of state patients and of course at Lab Corp for not running my freaking test!

slowest morning ever

I gave my blood for the beta at 7:30AM this morning. I cannot believe it's only 10AM!!! This morning is truly the slowest morning ever.

the paperwork we got from CCRM said that they'd call me in the afternoon with the results. So if anyone knows any spells to speed up time, now the time to use them!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's the final countdown

Ok not the final countdown. At all. But that's the song in my head today courtesy of my 2ww.

I just saw my ticker -- it's been 5 days since FET. Which means just 4 more to go until beta! So time can move somewhat quickly. The waiting is a biatch but it's nearly halfway done already.

Gonna make it. Gonna make it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Drugs

I've been asked by several people what medications I'm on post-FET. The answer is that it's pretty much the same as before the FET (although no shots!). Specifically:

Vivelle (ERT; 4 patches) -- changed every other day
Estrace (pill - 2 mcg) -- inserted vaginally 2x per day
Prometrium (200mg) -- inserted vaginally 3x per day (I had to swap this for the Endometrin as my insurance wouldn't cover the Endo only the Prom. The change wasn't a big deal--CCRM prescribes either for progesterone support for FET).
Vitamin D supplement -- one per night
Prenatal vitamins -- one per night
Baby aspirin -- one per night
Synthroid (25 mcg) -- one per morning

The biggest inconvenience is the prometrium. I need to lay down for 1/2 hour after inserting it. In the morning and before bed that's not a big deal. But the mid-day one can be a bit tricky. I'm lucky in that I've been working from home a lot so I can lay down. But on days when I'm in the office that's more difficult. So what I do on those days is just insert it as soon as I get home from work (around 5PM) then insert my nighttime one around 11PM. Otherwise all the meds aren't a big deal. I take one pill in the AM, a handful at night before bed. I keep them all in a Days of the Week pillbox on my night table. The pillbox is one of my best friends during this process as it's easy to forget whether I took the pill or not each day. I'm thinking of doing a second pillbox in the bathroom for the Estrace and Prometrium as I imagine now that I'm back in town and have to go into the office several times this week, it may help make sure I don't forget any doses.

I'll be on these meds until the beta on Friday. If we get our BFP, I'll be monitored with weekly blood draws and gradually weaned off the hormone support (the patches, estrace, and prometrium) over a 12 week period.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What happens after FET?

A friend sent this -- it describes what our little bean is (hopefully!) doing in the days following FET:

5-DAY TRANSFER:
-1dpt ..embryo is growing and developing
0dpt... Embryo is now a blastocyst
1dpt....Blastocyst hatches out of shell on this day
2dpt.. Blastocyst attaches to a site on the uterine lining
3dpt.. Implantation begins,as the blastocyst begins to bury in the lining
4dpt.. Implantation process continues and morula buries deeper in the lining
5dpt.. Morula is completely implanted in the lining and has placenta cells & fetal cells
6dpt...Placenta cells begin to secret HCG in the blood
7dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
8dpt...More HCG is produced as fetus develops
9dpt...HCG levels are now high enough to be immediately detected on HPT

Friday, July 15, 2011

FET

Bed rest is officially over so here's the long version of what happened for the FET. First the exciting part -- here's the picture of our precious embryo:
 The reason it looks like there may be two there is that it's hatching (i.e., coming out of the protective shell/membrane so it can implant in the uterus once transferred). They tell us that it survived the freeze/thaw process wonderfully with no damage.

But now I'll back up and describe the day.
We arrived at CCRM at 10:30AM for bloodwork. They tested my E2 and P4. My p4 went down from Monday's test but was still above the 5 they were looking for (it was 7.8 on FET day). My e2 however is kicking some serious tuckus -- up from 112 to 1,170 since I started taking estrace in addition to my 4 Vivelle (ERT) patches. This increase in e2 may explain why I haven't been nauseous since Monday. And I've been way less bloated. I'm hoping I've crossed some sort of e2 threshold where the discomfort is less. 

Around 11:00AM, I went in for pre-FET acupuncture. I did it right there in the transfer room. DH could've come in with me but opted not to. I thought I'd have an easier time relaxing if I was alone the room and he wasn't super thrilled about watching someone stick a bunch of needles into me. Since he was there for the post-FET acupuncture, he took some pictures.
The acupuncture lasted about 1/2 hour. Then DH joined me in the transfer room. A nurse came in, explained the rest of what to expect, took my vitals, etc. She also gave me a Valium which is standard procedure. To relax the muscles so the transfer is less uncomfortable so the patient moves less during transfer. It's also to help reduce post-transfer cramping so help keep the embie in there.

The time between acu and FET was also a time for me to chug water because I need a full bladder for the FET to help move my uterus into the most optimal position for receiving the embryo. Little did they know that I chug water all the time so my bladder got ridiculously full (which was confirmed by ultrasound) and I then had to go to the bathroom to empty some of it so that I didn't pee on Dr. S during the transfer.

They brought our little bean into room in what they call the "embryo limo". This contraption included the screen that allowed us to see the little bean prior to transfer. I was so very relieved that our embie survived the transfer and looked great. I'm so used to things going wrong with IF treatment that I realized I had prepared myself to hear that we lost one or two in the thaw process. So this news was quite a relief.

Around 12:30PM, Dr. Surrey transferred our little bean. It was great that it was Dr. Surrey since he's our primary RE at CCRM. I know the other RE's would've been fine (Dr. G did our ER and given the 29 eggs he retrieved I certainly have no complaints there) but it was nice to have Dr. S involved in this way. They did a trial transfer first which involved just transferring some sort fluid then transferred little bean. They tested the needle to make sure the embie was transferred (i.e., didn't get stuck in the needle) -- again standard practice and our little bean was successfully transfer. The transfer is guided by ultrasound, so once the little bean was in place, they showed us on the ultrasound a mass of fluid in my uterus that contained our embie. That was very cool.

After transfer, they cleared out and I got the joy of peeing in my first bedpan. Which is way easier said than done, even when on Valium. Bedpans are so not designed for women. But I was finally able to make it happen. Which was important as I had to lay there for an hour after transfer and that would have been miserable given how full my bladder was.

After the bedpan, the acupuncturist returned for round 2. It was once again very relaxing. So much so that Mr. Valium put me right to sleep. DH stayed in the room for that one and said it didn't look as painful as he thought it would look (so not nearly as scary as he thought it would be).

After an hour, they had DH go pull the car around front while I got dressed and wheeled out of CCRM. The Valium had me woozy so I was thankful for the wheelchair. They had me lay down in the car (i.e., recline the front passenger seat all the way down) for the ride the home.

Then the bed rest began. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I think mainly because day 1 I was pretty out of it most of the day from the Valium. Day 2 was a little more boring but I had Netflix, DVD's, and DH waiting on me. It was very true for me what other ladies have said -- I had a hard time reading both days so my Kindle got very little use. Glad I brought that and didn't lug several books here that didn't get read. It was also nice to have a king size bed so I had lots of room to move around and try to get comfortable during 2 days in bed.

Now begins the wait. I've been doing Zita West meditation to help me through the 2ww. I'll also continue to use my witchy foot salts and wear my fertility rune. And insert my p4 and e2 pills, wear my e2 patches, and take my prenatals, synthroid, baby aspirin, and Vit D. No exercise (including yoga) for at least a week.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Transfer went well today. We transferred one as planned. It thawed well & looked great! Will post pic when I'm done with bedrest.

Hampton Inn & Suites, Denver Tech Center

We arrived in Denver last night safe and sound. We're staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites using the CCRM rate because it was such a good deal. To the left is an overview of the kitchen/living room layout.

Overall we're happy here. Unfortunately, the first thing we noticed when we got here was the strong, dank smell in the room because the AC wasn't on. Once we turned it on, the smell went away. 
The kitchen seems fine. Stove, microwave, sink, dishwasher, full size fridge with freezer. Comes with dishes, dishwashing detergent, dish towel, washchoth. Lots of storage space.

The living room area is fine. Our biggest complaint here is no DVD player. But we did get one from the front desk on our 2nd day. So if you'd like a DVD player, I suggest you make arrangements for one ahead of time.
The CCRM rate is for a one bedroom suite. Here's a pic of the bedroom. Nice king size bed that takes up most the room. But it was dark and quiet in here. I sleep with earplugs and was undisturbed all three nights we were here (and I'm the lightest sleeper I know). Again no DVD player with the TV.

Bathroom is fine. Clean. Decent water pressure.

This place has complimentary breakfast and happy hour snacks. We only took advantage of the breakfast (to save some $$ and to avoid buying a ton of groceries for our 3 day stay). It wasn't great but they do have hot selections (eggs and waffles every day, other things changed by the day -- e.g., bacon, pizza bagels).

Overall, we're so far fine with this place. Especially for the price.  In addition to what's I describe above, there's complementary wi-fii, work out room, pool, free parking, computer to print out boarding pass in the lobby. No shuttle and no laundry. But we didn't need either of these for our brief trip.

Monday, July 11, 2011

FET (finally!) scheduled

It's official. The FET is scheduled for 10:30AM mountain time on 7/13!!!! I'll have acupuncture before and after the FET.

I had some bloodwork today -- it was a progesterone test. My level was 12.9 and anything over 5 is good. It was nice to have some good news. And the high level explains the serious nausea I've had lately. I asked the nurse today if there's anything I can take for the nausea -- nope. They recommend not taking any other meds at this point in the game. Just keep on taking my saltines, ginger ale, and peppermints.

Will post updates from Denver :)

Last minute travel

I'm the kind of gal that needs a back up plan in case things don't go my way. One thing I definitely like to plan is a way to curb the hurt if something really important doesn't work out.

So I'm starting to fantasize about last minute travel plans I can make if my FET doesn't work. I'd ideally like to go to Europe -- if I'm an emotional mess from mourning the failed FET I'd like a place that's not too difficult to navigate. So Europe comes to mind.

If any of you know of any good, last-minute-travel-deal websites, let me know. Planning my back-up vacation (a vacation I hopefully won't take) will be one of the may ways I'll distract myself next week during the 2ww :)