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Thursday, December 11, 2014

3rd trimester

I've entered the 3rd trimester. On the one hand it feels like I've been pregnant forever (I started working on this pregnancy March 2013). On the other hand, I can't believe it's already third trimester. For the most part this pregnancy has been much easier than #1. I'm really tired still but otherwise not many problems. I get hip pains that make walking tough. Especially after my prenatal yoga class, I think due to relactin making me over stretch my pelvic muscles. Today for the first time I have tailbone pain, which I've read is normal during pregnancy, especially later in pregnancy. But wow it made it hard to walk. So I scheduled my first prenatal massage of this pregnancy (I went a lot during #1 due to ribs popping out). I hope it helps. I've also started taking more baths to help the aches and pains. Tough to do when I work outside the home 40 hours per week and want to spend time with DD1.

But the good news is the baby is doing well! I haven't had an u/s since week 20 and I'm jonsing to find out how big she's gotten. I'll ask next on appointment when I'll get to see her again.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

26 weeks

It's been a while since I've posted and so much has happened. First, IT'S A GIRL! We're super excited! Knowing the gender just makes it all the more real. We known for a while. We found out a few ways:
1. CCRM now tells the gender when you "graduate" from being a CCRM pt to a "normal" pregnant woman under the sole care of your OB/midwife. It's a girl! (they would not, btw, tell me the sex of the 2 embies that didn't survive the other two transfers)
2. I took the Maternity21 screening because yet again my baby wouldn't cooperate with the NT u/s to test for trisomies. The Maternity21 screen not only tells you whther you may have trisomies (Obi doesn't) but also gender. Confirmed it's a girl.
3. Week 20 u/s confirmed yet again it's a girl. We got to see her "girl parts" (the "technical term" used by the u/s tech).

Here's a pic from the Week 20 u/w:
I had an OB appt today. All is well. No u/s, but I got to hear the heartbeat (151). I also had my 1 hr glucose screening. It was negative! Whoooo-hoooo! For #1, I failed it and had to do the 3-hr fasting test. It was awful! I met up with DH afterward and almost single-handedly ate an entire Indian buffet. DH said he had never really understood "ravenous" until he saw me eat after that test. So relieved I don't have to do it again!

Pregnancy going along well, which is at least partially why I don't post much. I'm still REALLY tired. So tired in fact that my OB tested me for anemia and Vit D deficiency about a month ago. All normal for a pregnant woman. So I'm just 39 and pregnant, working full-time and spending time with my amazing 2 year old. So, yeah, I'm tired. Otherwise, though, pregnancy pretty easy. No pain. Get to feel Obi move quite a bit during the day. DH has felt and seen her move, so it's exciting for us both. Doing pre-natal yoga every Sat at a birth center in town. Love it!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Doula

We have another update--we've contracted with our doula! We're going with the same doula who was with us for the birth of DD #1. We feel very comfortable with her and she was very supportive during the 36 hours of labor with DD#1.

We're going to try for a VBAC. My OB is very supportive of VBAC (as is the entire hospital!). The doula will be there for the delivery and will start helping us prep for it as we get closer to the due date. She did a great job making sure that we were fed, hydrated, helped suggest different positions while I labored with #1, and had great tips to help with pushing etc. She was also supportive of DH which was great as he did a great job and I'm sure she played a role in that. And she took pictures and notes so we have wonderful documentation of #1's birth process. We feel so good about having her on board!

#2 Pregnancy Symptoms

For pregnancy #1, I kept a running list of pregnancy symptoms. So I thought I'd do the same for this pregnancy.


Fatigue: This as been the biggest issue so far with this pregnancy. I'm 39 and pregnant with a toddler--and feel it. I'm EXHAUSTED. It was worse my first trimester. I slept ~ 8-9 hours per night, napped 1/2-1  1/2 hours per day but also needed to relax. which is tough to do with a toddler. Luckily, my job allows me flexible hours, so I usually worked ~ 8-1, then napped or rested from 1-4. Then I'd have enough energy to hang with my family in the evenings. On weekends, I'd nap when the toddler napped. In the 2nd trimester, it's getting better. I don't HAVE to nap anymore. But I'm still really tired. Some days I can work the entire day but some days I need to stop in the afternoons to rest or nap.

Swelling: As with pregnancy #1, this was one of my first signs of pregnancy. I had to take off my wedding rings really early on bc my rings wouldn't fit anymore or if I could get them on, would hurt me as the day went on and the swelling got worse.   

Gi-normous Boobs: As with pregnancy #1, my boobs have already gotten huge. Luckily I have my pregnancy and nursing bras from #1, so I switched to those a few weeks ago, as regular bras were too tight and the underwire was a killer.

Morning Sickness: As with pregnancy #1, I'm 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.

Weight Gain: As with pregnancy #1, I've gained weight quickly. I'm at 17 weeks and have already gained 19# (25-35 lbs is considered normal and good). I think most of weight gain 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 has been at a much slower pace. I'm not too worried about this though because with pregnancy #1 I gained ~ 50# total and I lost it all without even trying after DD was born. And I didn't have any health problems (e.g., gestational diabetes). So it may just be that my body needs to gain that much weight to support my big babies (DD was over 9#).

Back Pain: So far, not too bad. No ribs popping out like I had with #1 (knock on wood!). I get some soreness that I think is my ribs expanding (as mentioned above, bras have been tight around). Earlier in my pregnancy, I was I'm sore in the mornings after sleeping. And I have a sleep number bed and don't feel sore after sleeping in that bed when I'm not pregnant. It's nothing unbearable. But I either got used to it or no longer feel sore.

Hip/tailbone pain: in 2nd trimester I started getting hip pain. Not all the time but when I do get it, wow it hurts! Mailed it tough to walk. It's esp bad when I'm physical (taking walks, but not after every walk) or stretching (esp after yoga). In 3rd trimester, I got tailbone pain. And boy does it hurt. Makes walking almost impossible. Going to massage tomorrow to see if it helps.

Vivid Dreams about my baby: I've read this can be because of sleep disturbance. And I definitely snore now that I'm preggers so I'm likely waking myself up during the night. Whatever the cause, I'm definitely remembering my dreams way better than usual. Only one baby dream that I can remember. It was actually a horrible, miscarriage dream. I'm sure because I'm still a bit worried something could go wrong with this pregnancy after all we've been through over the past year. But most dreams are just regular ol' dreams that I just remember really vividly.

Emotional roller coaster: I'm a sympathy crier while preggers. If someone cries near me (even on TV), I cry. Can't help it. Otherwise, though, the emotions seem to be in check for the most part. Sometimes a little irritable because I'm tired, but nothing too bad.

Skin Issues: There are so many we can get: Acne: Unlike with pregnancy #1, this wasn't terrible. First trimester I had a bit but not much. In second trimester, nada. Linea Nigra I got one during pregnancy #1 that never fully faded. So far, it hasn't darkened back up...yet... Stretch marks: These weren't really a problem for pregnancy #1 (again, I've read this is more hereditary). None yet... Rashes. I got this one big time very early in my first trimester. It was HORRIBLE. Bubbly and VERY itchy. I went to the dermotologist because I was worried I may have contracted something that coudl hurt the baby (derm Rx'ed a steroid that hasn't been demonstrated to be safe in pregnancy so I didn't use it). Turns out it can happen from p4. Here's a glimpse:


It was worst on my wrist and under my boobies. It took several weeks, but it eventually went away on its own. I'm assuming as hormones changed or my body adjusted to the hormones that were in there.

Pregnancy symptoms I haven't had...yet...:

Hunger: Although this was an issue for me with pregnancy #1, it lucky hasn't been for this pregnancy. I do go from not hungry to starving, but the starving isn't as fierce as it was with #1. Or maybe I'm better at managing it. I carry snacks and try to eat protein with every meal, which helps keeps the hunger monster away.

Cravings: As with pregnancy #1, 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, cottage cheese, burgers, and other bland food. But so far not pickles with PB and sardines.

Frequent Urination: So far, not too bad.

Gas: Although I was a gas machine for pregnancy #1, so far it hasn't been an issue with #2...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CCRM Graduation Day!

It's official! I am no longer a CCRM patient! They are transferring care to my OB. My b/w from yesterday looks good--e2=653 (anything over 300 considered good).

Wow. I can't believe it. It's been such a long road. I've been working with CCRM on this transfer since my ODWU in May 2013.

In other cool news -- CCRM has started telling the baby's sex again (they wouldn't tell with DD under after we found it out from our OB). My CCRM nurse didn't have that info but is having the genetic counselor call me today or tomorrow with the news. Which means one less unknown. Very cool!

Freedom! And more Obi pictures!

I haven't taken any medications since Saturday and it's been glorious!
My bloodwork Friday came back good:
e2=703, p4=15.29

Thus, I was able to remove my last patch and discontinue baby aspirin on Saturday. It feels good to be able to trust my body to do this on its own.

We also had an u/s Thursday to test NT for Downs. Little Obi was doing a dance party -- arms waving, unable to sit still. It was AMAZING! And we got to hear the heart beat again, which was wonderful music to accompany the dancing.

The traditional ultrasound pic

Dance party pic


With my retroverted uterus, it's often difficult for the techs to get a good view of the baby. This was the case Thursday, so I need to go back in Wed for another u/s. Which I don't mind because I'll get to see the baby again!

However, lest this seem as though I'm done with IF treatment, I am not. I had b/w done Monday to make sure my e2 is OK with my placenta working on it's down. The freakin' lab didn't get the results to CCRM before end of day, so I'm now awaiting a call back from CCRM to find out if all is OK. If so, I think I'll officially be done with IF treatment! Whoooooo-hooooooooo! I may have a dance party of my own!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Waxing emotional

I realized this evening that my posts this time around have been much more facts-oriented than my posts for my pregnancy with #1. I think there are several reasons for that.

(1) I'm not as emotional this time around. Yes I've been scared. In fact, there's still a part of me that doesn't know if Obi will still be alive for Thursday's u/s. But this time around, trying for #2, has felt much less desperate than for #1. Not that we don't dearly want a second child. But we are very very happy with our life right now. DH and I love being parents. And we have been fortunate enough to have that opportunity. If all works out with #2, our lives will be even fuller.

(2) I have much more social support this time around so I don't need to vent my emotions on here as much as I did the first time around. I've made some amazing friends in the past couple of years. They have been so supportive of this crazy journey we've been on -- everything from asking me how I'm/Obi's doing to texting me to let me know they are rooting for me days I have u/s and b/w etc to staying with DD while DH and I went to Co THREE times to bringing me a ginormous bag of popcorn to satisfy my/Obi's late night cravings to baking me zucchini muffins when I was feeling too nauseous to eat anything but carbs to staying with DD later this month so DH and I can have a night away for a wonderful date night/day to sleep in. I'm so grateful for their support.

This is reminding me of something that happened months ago--an old friend who knew I was having problems with my IF treatment got pregnant. I'm so happy for her and her family. But the way she chose to tell me -- was to bump her belly against mine while giving me a hello hug. Luckily I had been told that she was pregnant the night before so I wasn't totally surprised. But seriously. Bumping your bump on your infertile friend's barren womb while she's struggling with failed IF treatment has to rank up there among the most insensitive ways to announce your pregnancy.

Needless to say, no more of that type of "support".

(3) I'm a working mom with a 2 year old. I love spending time with DD! And time with her is precious. I get ~ 1-1.5 hours with her in the AM, then she's at daycare and I'm at work/working from home/napping/resting all day, then I get another ~ 3 hours with her in the evenings. I don't want to waste any precious time with her doing something other than paying attention to her, playing with her, hearing about her day and her insights on things. After she goes to sleep each night, DH and I have ~ 2 hours to clean the house, relax, spend time together before bedtime. So I just don't have the time to ruminate on this process as much as I did before I had DD.

The end of IF treatment is in sight!

Results from today's bloodwork were OK:
e2=701, p4=14

The nurse who called with teh results was not my usual nurse. She gave me the results then asked when I get my next bloodwork done. I said "Mondays". She said in that case we can wean on Fri or Sat--go down to 1 patch and no more PIO. Then I can get b/w checked Monday.

I said "that sounds great! But I'm also totally happy to go in for b/w earlier than Monday if that means getting off the meds sooner." So, she said that if I can get b/w done Thurs or Fri that I can wean off Wed instead of this weekend. Whoo-hooo!!! So my last (hopefully EVER) PIO shot will be tonight. Then no more PIO shots (FX!)!

So. Excited!

Almost off the meds!

Friday's bloodwork looked good:
e2=1,743
p4=22.2

This is great news for two reasons: (1) it suggests my placenta is working (and hopefully that I'm still pregnant) and (2) I can continue to wean off the meds. Specifically, I'm now on PIO every other day and as of Sat, 1/2 cc of PIO every other day. I also got to stop taking the vaginally inserted estrace pill on Saturday (so not shoving any more meds up my who-ha!). I had bloodwork earlier today to check to see how my body is responding to the weaning and if it looks good, I'll continue to wean off. SO excited to be off the meds and to stop IF treatment! I've been in IF treatment for over a year and so ready to be done! FX!

Monday, July 28, 2014

wow I forgot how much coordinating out-of-state treatment sucks

So we had some drama with coordinating my care over the weekend. For whatever reason, my blood test results didn't get to CCRM. I did my usual dance--got blood drawn. Called CCRM around 4 CST to find out if they received the results. A nurse returned my call around 5:15 stating that they did not. I called the hospital that drew my blood and asked them to re-fax the results. They said they would. I called CCRM back around 6 CST to find out if they had received the results. CCRM is closed at that time so I got the answering service. I asked the service to contact a nurse (because they are still at CCRM at that time--they just don't answer the phone anymore) to find out if they had received my results. The service said the nurses make those calls until 7:30 PM CST so I should wait and if the nurse didn't call back by 7:30 call the answering service back and they would get me a nurse. I asked whether a nurse would still be at CCRM to see if my results had arrived after 7:30 PM and the service said yes.

So, as you can imagine, they didn't call by 7:30. So I called the service. And, as I suspected, there are no nurses at CCRM after 7:30. So they paged the on call nurse who was at home and had no access to the fax machine to find out if my results had come through. She refused to call the lab to get the results (and the lab won't give me the results over the phone. They'll give them to a nurse over the phone but not me. I have to go there in person and sign a release. I've never tried impersonating a nurse to see if I can them over the phone that way because I hate lying. But it seems to me that's the loophole). The on-call nurse also seemed pissed that I was calling because they don't consider pregnancy med results "urgent" and they don't make changes to preg meds over the weekend.

You know, I consider changing my hormone levels while pregnant urgent. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's why my nurse ordered the blood test Fri instead of waiting for Monday's standing order. Because they made a change on Thurs and wanted to make sure all was OK.

The on-call nurse said "if the results are OK you'll stay on PIO every other day so just do that over the weekend". I asked "what if the results aren't OK? Wouldn't it be great if we could make a medically informed decision by getting my test results rather than guessing". She then advised me to call CCRM back first thing in the AM and find out what my results were. She's just making shit up.

So I did. But first I drove to the hospital to get my freakin' test results just in case CCRM still hadn't gotten the fax. When I called the after hours line on Sat, they were annoyed that I called on the weekend for my preg hormone results. But it turns out that the results were not "OK". My p4 was 13 and they want it over 15. So the Sat nurse advised me to go back on PIO every day until I could talk to my nurse on Monday.

Got my blood drawn again for my Monday standing order.

My nurse called me back Monday at 5 PM CST to let me know she got the results from Fri and today. She wanted to know what my meds were now. She seemed surprised that I was still on PIO every day. Goddammit. I could've been doing it every other day instead of every day?! But rather than put me on every other day, she opted to have me decrease my e2 and stay on PIO every day until Wed. Skip Wed shot then go in Thurs for blood draw to see levels.

She suggested I decrease my patches from 2 every other day to 1. I asked why are we decreasing patches instead of estradiol given that my e2 isn't really decreasing with decreasing patches so maybe we'd get more bang from decreasing estradiol. We did that order during DD's pregnancy. She said she usually weans off patches first because patients tend to complain about skin irritation with the patches and they are more expensive. But I'm lucky-my insurance covers my patches. So we're decreasing the e2. Only 1 pill per day starting tomorrow. So I'm nixing the morning one so I don't have to lay down for 1/2 hour each morning. Fingers crossed this decreases my e2 as I suspect it's contributing to my nausea and weight gain.

One thing I will not miss is coordinating care out of state. Esp since the CCRM IVF nurse line almost always goes straight to voicemail. Then they call back. And often I'm in a meeting or in the bathroom or something and miss the call. So then I have to call back and leave another message etc. I mean seriously?  A lot of us have jobs. Which is part of why we struggle with IF, right, because we delayed pregnancy?! So for them to expect us to be available whenever they call us back but don't pay us the same curtsey. I won't miss it one bit.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weaning, weaning, weaning

Based on the results of Monday's blood test (e2=1609, p4=26.06), I get to continue to wean off my meds! Starting Tues I got to wear 2 patches every other day. And last night (Thurs) was my first night with no PIO shot!!! It was glorious!

The weird thing is that I've been super nauseous this week, starting Tuesday. I don't know if I coincidentally caught a stomach bug or whether the change in meds (e2 especially given I didn't start weaning p4 until yesterday) is making me nauseous. Either way, I'm staying home from work today--I'm too nauseous to get through a day of meetings. I tried weaning sea-bands yesterday and a mom at DD's daycare spotted them and knew it meant I'm preggers. She's a sweetheart so I don't mind her knowing but it made me realize that I can't wear my sea-bands this time around in case people figure it out. And we're not ready to go public yet. Not until we get to the 2nd trimester. Too much has gone wrong this year for us to be that confident yet.

I have a blood test today to find out how my body's responding to the weaning. Fingers crossed I get to continue to wean off the freakin' PIO.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

8.5 weeks and all is good (and I get to wean off meds!)

Got to see Obi yesterday. And hear the heartbeat! All is going well! Growth is good--measuring in at 8w2d. Heart rate was 180, which is good for this age (heart rate peaks at this age).
Here's a pic of my beautiful baby:

In other cool news - I can feel the baby moving! I know it's super early and at first I thought I was misinterpreting other physical sensations as Obi dancing. But it's happened several times over the past few days and it's such a distinct feeling - I can feel Obi boogieing! It's amazing!

Now that I've reached 8.5 weeks, I can start to wean off my meds. I get to start with going from 4 Vivelle patches every other day to 3 patches every other day. Sadly I don't get to decrease the PIO yet. CCRM likes p4 between 20-30 at this point and mine's 27. If it goes over 30 by Monday's b/w, I'll get to start weaning off it too. In the meantime, daily shots in the ass.

But I spoke to a different nurse on Friday and she said I can swim! Yay! So I'll start adding that in so I can start getting more exercise. I've already gained 5 pounds since I've been pregnant - I'm sure due to increased food cravings and lack of exercise.

So everything's going well!



Monday, July 14, 2014

PIO

One aspect of this that has been a pain in my ass (literally) is the progesterone in oil shots. I get one every night. In the tuckus. It's an intramuscular shot (as opposed to subcutaneous shots--in the belly--I've gotten for more of my IF treatment). Thus, the needle is freakin' huge because it has to make it into the muscle. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the size of the PIO needle vs the lupron needle (this is DH's hand holding the needles):



We can alternate sides of my ass to give the shot but it has to go in a pretty specific spot. Thus, the needle goes pretty much in the same spot every other day. My injection sites are totally bruised. They sometimes hurt like crazy. Sometimes it burns going in, sometimes it burns going out. Sometimes it hurts because of the bruising. Sometimes it hurts because DH (who gives them to me) gets the wrong spot. One time, he injected me too high up and I had a knot of what I think was the PIO being absorbed more slowly than it was supposed to. And that hurt. It makes it harder to sleep because it sometimes hurts to sleep on the side where the shot/bruising is. At first I was glad for the PIO rather than the pills because it's once a day. Done and done. But after weeks of PIO shots, I'm over it.

I got b/w results today. The nurse told me that if all looks good on this week's u/s, we can start weaning off the meds. I'll be most excited for this because it means Obi's doing well. I'll be second most excited for this because it'll mean no more freakin' PIO shots.

Here are today's b/w results:
e2=1,398
p4=27.49

Monday, July 7, 2014

Bloodwork still lookin' good, although more preg symptoms cropping up

Today's b/w results are all good:
e2=1,579
p4=28

I'm getting more and more tired these days. Probably not much different from when I was preg with DD. The difference is it's much harder to just relax with a toddler. I'm fortunate in that my job allows for me to work in the mornings (when I'm most alert), then around 1, I stop working and relax, watching TV for a couple of hours. I usually take a 1/2 hour-to-hour long nap in the afternoons. DH brings DD home around 5 and I get to spend time with her until her bedtime at 8. I love spending time with her, but it's getting harder and harder to do so because my body just wants to laze around on the couch and watch TV. When I push myself to play, I get nauseous and light headed. I try to not just watch TV all evening (we usually have a strict 1/2 hour of TV per day with DD--right before bedtime), but sometimes these days we watch a little more because "mommy's not feeling well". During DD's pregnancy, I think I spent most evenings vegging out in front of the TV.

We haven't told DD about Obi yet. We want to wait until at least the 2nd trimester just in case. So for now, DD knows that I can't pick her up or go swimming and that I get tired and don't feel well because I'm on medication. I'm looking forward to the 2nd trimester when I will (hopefully) have more energy.

Heartbeat!

On Thursday, we got to see Obi's heart beating!!! It was amazing. The rate was 111 (anything over 100 is considered good). Obi measured in at 6 weeks 1 day (within 1 week of where my preg is -- with is ~ 6.5 weeks -- is good). It makes sense to me that Obi would measure a bit under 6.5 given it looks like s/he was a late implanter.



I will continue to get weekly b/w to monitor meds. Meds stay the same. Lifestyle restrictions the same (no exercise other than walking, no baths/swimming) except we can have sex now. Next ultrasound will be ~ 7/17 (8.5 weeks).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Reactions to pregnancy

So I have a wicked rash all over my body. At first I thought it was heat rash (I read this can happen durign pregnancy as body temp rises due to p4 and increased blood) but it's spreading not getting better. So I went to the dermatologist yesterday and nope, not heat rash. Not yeast or fungal infection. The derm thinks it's probably a reaction to being pregnant! Some people's skin breaks out in response to preg hormones and some reactions are more common in 2+ pregnancies.

The derm prescribed me a topical steroid cream to help with the itching. Unfortunately, she prescribed me a medication that CCRM advises against because it's a category C medication (no research showing it's safe in preg humans). So I'm still super itchy with no way to manage it :( CCRM and my derm both said I could take Benadryl (a class B medication), but I don't feel comfortable taking any OTC meds this early in my pregnancy. Going to pick up some calamine lotion today to see if that helps. I'm also going to switch my soap to something very mild and see if that helps too (I've read that some women become sensitive to their soaps,lotions, etc when preg and my soap is the only thing that I put in all the areas I have a rash). FX I find a solution! I gotta say I'm disappointed that my derm didn't.

But I also remind myself that I'm having this problem because I'm PREGNANT! So if this is another price I have to pay, so be it.

Speaking of which--here are the results from this week's b/w:
HCG=8,710 (they don't monitor it anymore but I threw this test in because I wanted the reassurance the level was still rising)
E2=1,943
P4=31.16

Nurse says these all look good. I still have moments in which I can't believe it's actually working. After the two failed transfers and the rocky start to this one with the low initial beta. But it's looking good so far!

U/s Thursday morning to (hopefully) see the heartbeat. FX!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Still on target

Results from today's b/w:

HCG=1,700
e2=850
p4=26.9

I waited for the results at the hospital so was freaking out when I saw them. I expected by HCG to be over 2000 and my e2 has fallen.

I just got off the phone with my nurse at CCRM and she reassured me that these numbers look great! For HCG, anything over 1000 is considered good. For e2, anything over 300 is good. She said it's normal for e2 to wax and wane depending on things like whether it was a new patch day, an old patch day, etc. So my 850 is fine because it's over 300. They only worry if it gets below 300.

So next b/w won't be for another week. Which seems like an eternity! I like my confirmation every few days that my HCG is rising.

The longer term plan is to keep doing weekly monitoring of e2 and p4 -- no more HCG :( -- until around week 12. We'll start tapering me off the meds after my 8.5 week u/s (assuming everything looks ok then). In the meantime, since I'm on estrace, no pools for me. Which is a bummer because it's summer in LA and it's freaking hot. And I have lots of opportunities for pool parties and it'd be fun to get to play in the pool with my DD, who is an awesome swimmer at 2y/o. But, I'm pregnant! So it that means no pool time, I can live with that. It's WAY easier to deal with the lifestyle restrictions of IF treatment now that I'm doing it because I'm pregnant! :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

BFP!

I'm officially, confidently pregnant! HCG= 220.3!

It seems that Obi is a late implanter. Which apparently can happen with frozen embryos. And makes sense based on my HCG and HPT results. My first positive HPT with DD was 6dp5dt with EPT, which is not as sensitive as First Response. I got my first positive HPT with Obi on 6/12 or 6dp5dt with First Response. EPT was negative that day. I didn't get my first positive on EPT with Obi until 9dp5dt. Here's a pic of the first First Response HPT I took that was (faintly) positive at 6dp5dt:


DH and I are thrilled! After the two "chemical pregnancies", we were expecting Obi's low HCG numbers to be a sign of this not working. This is a very happy surprise!
Next beta is Monday. In the meantime, I keep on doing what I've been doing in terms of meds and lifestyle prescriptions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pregnancy symptoms

My body is certainly acting pregnant! And given my low HCG and that I'm only ~ 1 month pregnant, it must be from all the meds I'm on. But I feel pregnant. Here are the symptoms I have so far:

Exhaustion
I'm EXHAUSTED. For the past 3 days I've taken 1-2 hour naps every day. And I never nap. I can only work ~ 1/2 day because I'm exhausted and totally brain dead after a few hours of work.

Nausea
Luckily I'm not as nauseous as I was with DD. I read that most women have less morning sickness with their 2nd than with their first. I still have a lot of nausea and bloat but nowhere near as badly as I did with DD. I have realized that I need to eat every few hours to keep the bloat and nausea at bay, so I need to get better about carrying food with me and having more carbs in the house (because carbs seem to be the best cure for the nausea).

Food cravings
None. It's more that certain foods sound terrible right now with the nausea. So I want Mexican food. And pizza. And burgers. Sadly, veggies and fruit sound terrible later in the day as the bloat gets worse. So I try to load up on them in the AM knowing I'll eat greasy carbs by dinner.

Emotional
I'm actually not super emotional...yet. But I'm freaking exhausted and nauseous which can make me cranky. So I'm finding I'm a bit snippier with DH than usual. But hopefully I'll get better at managing the bloat/nausea and get that under control.

I'm hoping these symptoms are a sign of good news for tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The force appears strong with this one...

I've been hesitant to post this because the news is so ambiguous but it seems I'm pregnant! Here's the rollercoaster we've been on this week:
Sunday 6/15: HCG: 27.2, which is technically pregnant. However, CCRM likes to see HCG greater than 50 at this point. So this was a "cautiously optimistic" BFP. The real test in this case was whether the value doubled over the next two days. As an fyi-E2 was 1702 and P4 was 20.3 (both good).

On Monday, I got the pregnancy phone call from Dr. Surrey. I was SO not expecting that. When we had a low positive HCG with the last FET, I don't think he called after that first low beta. But he called because 27.2 is definitely pregnant. The plan is to monitor my HCG every two days until it's over 100. It should double every two days if the pregnancy is going to be successful. He was also cautiously optimistic and excited that we've gotten this far given the past two failed FETs. But the last two were chemical pregnancies, so cautiously optimistic indeed.

Tues 6/17: HCG: 76.8. So little Obi did it! It doubled! But it's still under 100. So again, cautiously pregnant. He also tested TSH (because some women have their rise when they get preggers and mine was elevated for DDs so I was on synthroid for her pregnancy). My level was fine (1.74 and anything under 3 is considered good).

Since it's under 100, we will test again Thurs. So far so good.

It's all a bit surreal. DH and I definitely don't feel like I'm pregnant. Rather, it feels like we're just doing more of what we've been doing all year -- more IF treatment. We don't feel excited but we don't feel scared. Just in cope mode, I guess. I think this will feel more real if Thursday's beta has at least doubled. In the meantime, orders remain the same. Same meds, same exercise restrictions (nothing except light walking, no lifting anything over 10 lbs including DD), etc.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Due date

This is definitely getting ahead of myself, but I just calculated Obi's due date if this transfer works. It will be 2/21/15. Which means March madness will officially become Spring madness! With Feb containing Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras (usually) and March having DH's bday, St Pat's, my bday, and DD's bday. It will be a crazy time full of celebration. A wonderful wonderful problem to have.

I looked it up because I'm feeling nauseous today. Now, I was nauseous for failed FET #2 and it turned out to be a stomach virus. So I'm very aware the nausea could be something else. But it's making me hopeful...

Friday, June 6, 2014

FET

Today's transfer went well! Our little embryo, who we are calling Obi-wan (picture below), survived the thaw with 100% cell survival rate and began hatching. Had acupuncture before and after and have been eating pineapple like it's my job.

Blood test results good as well:
e2: 2155 (anything over 300 is good)
P4: 20
Now on bed rest until Sunday morning. Fingers crossed all goes well with "our only  hope"!




Back in CO

We arrived in CO yesterday. We have already had some adventures. We were greeted with a hail storm in June:

And in addition to seeing a prairie dog, we have bunnies on the grounds of our hotel:


The Hampton Inn is nicer than we remember. We think maybe they renovated. No musty smell in our room (although there is in the hallway). The room is great! Very quiet and peaceful. No DVD players anymore but the high speed internet does allow us to stream amazon prime and netflix.  The complimentary breakfast and afternoon snacks are of the quality one would expect from a place like this so we are cooking all our meals. Whole foods nearby.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Another game of good news/bad news

First the good news: my p4 is 11.38. Anything over 6 is considered good. Getting the result was annoying -- the nurse only wrote "same day" not "stat" on the order so the lab didn't run the blood until last night, after CCRM had closed. So I didn't get to find out until this AM. Ah, the frustrations of coordinating out-of-state care.

Now the bad news: after at least 3 other times on P4 suppositories, my body has decided to have an adverse reaction to them. At least, that what we think is going on. TMI alert: the first night I took my P4 soppository I was awaken in the night with wicked whoo-ha itching. It has persisted since then. I thought maybe due to all the CM as a result of all the E2 I'm on that I developed a yeast infection (although no other symptoms of yeast infection. just itching). Unable to stand it any longer (and worreid that if I have an infection of some sort they may need to cancel the FET), I called CCRM this AM. They agreed I needed to get it checked out. So I got a same day appoitment with my OB-GYN (we can put the ability to get a same day appointment in the good news column!). My OB did a culture adn exam. The culture results won't be back before Friday. But based on visual exam plus putting smaple under microscope, there's no evidence of infection. She said that she wouldn't prescrie anything for me if I were coming in under regular circumstances so shouldn't need any additional treatment.

I'm awaiting a callback from CCRM (we've been playing phone tag) to confirm but it looks like I'll have to switch from suppositories to progesterone in oil. I've done it before when my P4 levels were off during my Oct cycle. For those who haven't done it, let me warn you - -the need is freakin' huge! Way bigger than the lupron shot needle. In some ways, the shot will be a bigger pain in the ass (literally and figuratively). Not only is the needle scary big, but it can hurt and burn to get the shot. Plus, it means more freakin' shots and I was so happy to be done with shots. On the plus side, no more mid-day having to lay down after suppositories, so in the end I think the shot will be easier. I'm a little freaked out that this means different meds from what I was one for my DD's transfer. But last FET I was on the same meds and got a BFN, so maybe it doesn't matter...

Friday, May 30, 2014

OK to go!

Yesterday was an emotional rollercoaster. Had an u/s at 8AM, during which the tech tells me my lining is just under 6mm. Which I know means time to cancel the cycle as CCRM wants it around 8mm. The bummer about getting bad news while on a butt-load of E2 is that the news feels especially bad. So I was totally bummed most of the day yesterday. Totally distracted and unable to work. My sweet DH took me on a day date to help cheer me up and we did have fun seeing the new Seth Rogan movie (that man seriously makes me laugh at almost everything he says/does).

When I hadn't heard from CCRM by 2, I call them to do the usual dance. The dance goes like this:
Step 1: get a procedure done locally as early in the AM as possible so have time to complete dance before CCRM closes for the day.
Step 2: wait several hours
Step 3: call CCRM and leave voicemail (because 9 times out of 10, no one answers the IVF nurse line) asking if they've recieved the results
Step 4: wait for call-back
Step 5: receive call-back, which almost always informs me that no they have not received the results
Step 6: call local place and ask them to re-fax results. In this case (as per usual), it was calling the imaging center and the blood lab
Step 7: wait
Step 8: call CCRM and leave voicemail asking if they've received the results
Step 9: receive call-back

This time, the call-back consisted of surprisingly good news--we are OK to go! The official report stated that my lining was 7.5mm, not 6. Who knows why. Could be the tech looked at the wrong measurement. I know from the zillions of u/s's I've had that they take several measurements. I don't know if they use the thickest or a paticualr part of the uterus. Either way, my CCRM nurse double checked and yep, 7.5 is the official reading.

My E2 was also good: 1,591. Down from last week's, which I think is weird. But anything over 300 is considered good, so we're good.

So I booked travel. We're staying at the Hampton Inn again. This is where we stayed for my DD's FET. We are hoping the internet will be better than the Candlewood (where we stayed for the last 2 FETs) so we can stream Netflix/Amazon Prime during bedrest. We will also bring some DVDs just in case.

re: Meds:
-Lupron stops Saturday.
-Sunday I start Medrol, Doxy, and Prometrium (3x/day vaginally, which means laying down for 20-30 minutes after insertion).
-continue Vivelle patches (4 every other day) and estrace (2x/day vaginally), baby aspirin, Vit D, and prenatals

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Another bump in the road

There's good news and bad news. First some good news: the nausea was a stomach virus. So I feel much better now. Still bloat-a-licious. But no more neasuea.


More good news: On Fri my E2 was 1875 and my P4 was 0.0 (meaning I didn't ovulate through this cycle like I did cancelled FET cycle #2 last Fall).


The bad news: my lining's not responding. I had an u/s on Friday and I'm only at 7 mm. CCRM wants it at least 8. So, we're pushing back the transfer a week to give my body more time to respond to the meds. Next u/s will be Thursday. I found this all out via voicemail so I didn't get a chance to ask whether we're going to cancel the cycle altogether if I don't get to 8. And, really, at this point, I'm just taking it all one day at a time, so I decided to not call to ask. Because, really, knowing at this point that the cycle could get cancelled would just stress me out. This process has taken so long that another delay would just plain suck at this point. So fingers crossed no more delays. And here's to one day at a time.

So for now, nothing has changed. Still getting lupron shots every night, 4 Vivelle patches changed every other day, estrace vaginally 2x per day, baby aspirin, and prenatals/Vit D.





Saturday, May 17, 2014

My body's too bloat-a-lious

Today I got hit by the bloat. And with it the nausea. I started 2 Vivelle patches yesterday and I think that may have been enough to push my E2 levels into nausea zone.

I thought something was off this AM-walked a 5K this AM and afterwards felt much weaker than I usually do after walking that much. Then this afternoon, toke a family bike ride to a nearby park and was having a hard time breathing on the ride. The nausea hit when we got to the park. So nauseous DH had to bike him and get the car because I was worried I wouldn't make it home biking. Now, I know, I know. I'm not supposed to be exercising while prepping for an FET. But I figured my heart rate probably wasn't getting that much over 120 biking. Clearly I was wrong because I felt terrible while biking and still do, nearly 4 hours later.

The one weird/probably irrational silver lining in my feeling so bad is that I felt terrible during the prep for my DD's FET. So I'm hoping that me feeling terrible = my body prepping to really receive an embie this time.

My next blood work isn't until Friday and I'm totally curious to see:
(1) if my E2 is still off the charts
(2) if my lining is still looking good (I get an u/s Fri too)
(3) if I ovulated through the meds. I've done this. It was canceled FET #2, I believe.
(4) and if we're a go for our 5/30 transfer

In the meantime, it looks like I get to get re-acquainted with saltines and ginger ale.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Post-pregnancy FET #3 on it's way

So sorry for the silence. Our Jan FET didn't work and I needed a break from thinking about TTC. With the Jan transfer, we got a positive HPT and positive but faint blood test. However, it was negative by the 2nd blood test (just a couple days later given the low level on the first blood test). For our Oct 2013 transfer I also had a positive HPT but negative blood preg test. This all suggests that both embies implanted (thus releasing HCG which is the hormone detected in preg tests) but didn't survive very long. Dr. Surrey thinks this is because DH and I make crap embryos (my words not his--and this is of course excepting our amazing miracle-of-science DD!). But just to make sure, Dr. S had me get a uterine biopsy (which I did locally then shipped the sample to a lab in NC for testing) to test for the presence of a protein in my uterus. The lack of this protein can affect implantation. I have the protein. This, combined with the fact that I gave birth 2 years ago is more evidence that it's not my body, it's our embyos that are the problem.

So I took a 3 month break from TTC. I've been a baby factory for nearly 6 years now (2 years TTC, 1 year pregnant, 1 year breastfeeding, 1 year TTC #2) and although being pregnant and getting to breastfeed was AMAZING, I needed a freakin' break--time to just be a person, not a baby factory. To not think about what I ate or drank, to exercise or not, to lose weight or not and not have it all feel SO. IMPORTANT.  It was glorious!

Now we're back at it for our 3rd and final FET. It's tentatively scheduled for end of May. My protocol is slightly different. I did BCPs then lupron. I'm now on lupron, Vivelle patches, and estrace 2x per day.

Had my first u/s yesterday for lining check and everything looks good so far. Lining was already at 6mm. E2 was 1,090 and anything over 50 is good. They have been hyped up on E2 because in previous attempts, my E2 was low and my lining took a little longer than usual to thicken. So the hope is that all this E2 will help my lining and hopefully help implantation.

So, big fingers crossed for us as this is it. Our last attempt.

Monday, January 6, 2014

FET

Everything went well with today's FET. 100% of the embryo's cells survived the thaw and the cells had started the replicate. We got to see the embryo before it was transferred and again once it was in my uterus. Very cool. Dr. Surrey did the transfer and it was great to see him again. We did acupuncture before and after the transfer, as we did with FETs 1-2. In fact, everything was the same (valium, bedpan after transfer, wheelchaired out).

Here's a picture of our embryo:


Now I'm on bedrest rest of today and tomorrow, then home Wed. So all we can do at this point is rest and cheer on our little embie. Go little bean! Burrow in there!

As for the rest of the trip:
We're staying at the Candlewood Suites (see previous description of this hotel [including pix] from our ER trip here). We got a 2 Queen beds room this time. It doesn't seem bigger than the King we had last time but it's nice to have the extra bed so we can have 1 for my bed rest days for eating in etc and one for sleep. We got this place for $59 per night which was a steal (other comparable hotels were at least $100 per night). It's still clean and quiet and the front desk staff very friendly and helpful. We brought DVD's this time given the problems we had with streaming Netflix last time. We've been watching a mix of Netflix and DVD's.

Also, for those traveling out here, we totally recommend Thai Orchard. It's right across from the Target on Lincoln. The food is yummy!! (we love the calamari appetizer--it's unlike any calamari we've ever had! and the satay beef). And the prices are very good (less than $10 each for dinner entree). And you can order take out.

As with FET #2, we didn't bring our DD with us. She's staying at our house with a dear friend.  At 22 months, it'd be way too hard for her to understand why I'm in bed all day and not picking her up, etc. I miss her terribly but we get to facetime and I know she's having a blast with our friend.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

FET #3 is a go!

Just got off the phone with a nurse from CCRM. FET #3 is a go! Here are my instructions:


Insert progestrone and estrace vaginally between 7-8AM
8:45AM arrive at CCRM. Check in at the main desk for blood draw.
Then upstairs for Acupuncture.
10:30AM FET (so have a partially full bladder by 10:30--bring water bottle)
After FET, more acupuncture. Lay flat on the table for ~ 1 hour after FET.
Bed rest rest of Monday and all day Tuesday. Fly home Wednesday.

Now that it's really happening, I'm getting kind of excited. I'm also excited that my body is starting to respond in a manner similar to FET #1 (my daughter's FET). I'm getting pretty bloated and have had some weight gain. I had nausea one day but luckily only in the morning and only that 1 day (day 2 of progesterone). So hopefully these symptoms mean by body is as ready to receive this embie as it was for FET #1 and the FET will work this time.

To keep up to date on stats:
I had a blood draw Thursday for P4. I forget the exact number but it was 12.something. Anything over 3 is good. So this is good.

Also I forgot to post on here -- we re-tested our no-result CCS/CF negative embie -- it was CCS normal (rated AA)! So we actually have 2 good embies left. As with FET's 1-2, we're going to transfer one embie.

I was thinking earlier today that so much of my 2013 dealt with IF treatment -- stopping BF in March to prep for May ODWU. ODWU in May. Attempt #1 prep in June, then attempt #2 in August, then attempt #3 in Sept/Oct, then attempt #4 prep in Nov/Dec. Clearly 2013 was not my year to get pregnant. Let's hope 2014 is my year!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Attempt # 4

We are in the process of trying yet again for an FET. To catch y'all up--I'm doing a cycle with BCPs and Lupron. I got a clearance letter from my neurologist (I'm sorry. I mean my former neurologist as getting them to write the freakin' clearance letter look 3 weeks. I'm not exaggerating. 3 weeks. And then I had to camp out in their waiting room until they wrote the damn thing. jerks) stating that although I have migraines there's no reason I can't take BCPs. Which makes me very happy because I'd like this cycle to be as close to my successful FET as possible and that cycle had BCPs and Lupron. The failed FET was Lupron no BCPs. So let's hope this change in meds will make a difference.

Another difference is that I used Endometrin for the failed FET but I used Prometrium for my successful FET. So this time, we're doing Prometrium. Prometrium makes me more nauseous than the Endometrin, but if this change in meds works, it'll be worth it.

Here are the meds and stats so far with this cycle:
BCPs from CD3-CD15
Lupron (nightly injections) from 11/24 until 12/31 (10 units from 11/24-12/13, then 5 units). DH administered the shots because I prefer to dissociate during the shots and that's easier to do when someone administers them.
The good news is no progesterone in oil this time (I had to do it for the failed FET). Those shots suck based on looks alone -- those needles are scary huge!

12/27: first lining check:
Bad news. Only 6 mm and CCRM wants to see at least 8. So FET pushed back and estrace added to my meds protocol.
P4: 0.13 (anything under 1 is good. And means I didn't ovulate through my cycle! this is good news as I did that in the Fall)
E2: 185. Not good. They want it over 300. The estrace will help with this.
So now I'm on:
Estrace 2mg vaginally 2x per day
Vivellle patches (started 12/14 with 1 patch, up to 4 patches on 12/26)
Prometrium 200mg vaginally 3x per day
Medrol 16mg once each evening for 4 nights (Started 1/1)
Doxycycline 100mg at bedtime then 2x daily for 4 days (started 1/1)
Baby aspirin (started...I can't remember...I think CD1, 11/22)
Prenatals
Vitamin D (2000 IUI) because I have low Vit D.

12/31: Second lining check:
Results more promising.
Lining: 7.8mm (apparently close enough to 8 to move forward with a transfer)
P4: 0.15
E2: 1316 (which is well above 300)

The Plan:
We are now (finally!) set for a 1/6 transfer. We booked travel last night. I'll post on the side bar what the travel plans are.