Moving Past the Fear

It’s been a while. I haven’t found myself able to write as I’ve been so overwhelmed with emotion and wanting to keep this miracle pregnancy a secret so I wouldn’t jinx it…not a total secret, some people know. But the thought of “announcing” completely stresses me out. And I know how painful it can be to on the receiving end of the announcement. I feel like, this experience isn’t for everyone else anyway. I don’t know, it sounds selfish. But I guess it’s hard not to be selfish after the past 4 years and how my life has been so drastically affected. 

Okay.

So things are going well.  Like hard to believe well. My second to last appointment with my RE, he said I’m not going to let you make anything about this negative. He could tell I was fishing…OK surely something isn’t as it should be, Doc. No!

A lot has happened. We are 15 weeks today, officially in the 2nd trimester. We have graduated from the fertility clinic, are off all meds except prenatal vitamins, and have moved on to the OB. Mine also has midwives…quite the opposite of the fertility world. Their mantra is as little unnecessary intervention as possible, which includes ultrasounds. I have an appointment next Thursday. I’m not sure what will happen but there won’t be an ultrasound. We will get to hear the heartbeat though.

I was on the fence, but we were gifted a fetal doppler and it turns out we really love having it. There’s something comforting about listening and hearing baby’s heartbeat thumping away. 

My fatigue has let up but my headaches are still happening regularly. I have tried to avoid meds and use a lot of ice packs but every once in a while I break down and take Tylenol if the headaches go on too long. I did develop a UTI earlier on but luckily I didn’t really have symptoms and antibiotics cleared it right up.

Husband is still too freaked out to be intimate even though our RE told us repeatedly sex is perfectly fine and safe. I don’t think I ever shared on this blog that the one time I became pregnant naturally, the day I started spotting (which eventually led to a loss) was the first time we were intimate. Needless to say he’s still traumatized from that experience even though he knows better. I understand though. It’s all so difficult on the brain…this entire process.

We’ve decided to wait until baby is here to learn the gender. After years of labs and egg counts and sperm counts we just want something simple and old fashioned. So we’re slowly putting together a gender neutral nursery and I’m enjoying colors and animals in there, just trickling in.

Good friends recently gifted us with a huge lot of used baby items from their son which was such a lovely thing. There are a few items I definitely want new, but so much baby gear is used for such a short time so I love reusing when possible.

We’ve been doing a lot of emptying out and reorganization, which was needed anyway. I love putting rooms together and all things home so this is a dream come true for me in that way, too. 

I am (and always will be) very sensitive to those on the other side of infertility. The thought of a social media announcement is painful bc I know how it feels to be on the receiving end so very well. I have been off FB for years now due to this struggle, it became too much. The husband wants to post something eventually, but not until I’m ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever get there!

Thinking of the entire community of the strongest women I know, and hoping for peace for those still fighting the good fight. 

xoxo.

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Donor Egg IVF: Beta Results, Anxiety and a Scare

So I’m afraid to say this out loud much less write it down…our beta test was last Saturday. By Friday I was basically beside myself with anxiety about the coming results. So anxious in fact that I had diarrhea (TMI) several mornings in a row…I never tested early with any of my past transfers, but I had a half day at work last Friday as it was Good Friday. I knew I would be home alone for a few hours to process whatever the results showed…and I also knew there was a Family Dollar on my direct path home. 

I zipped in, shaking, and bought two tests…one digital and the other that shows the pink lines. I got home quickly and went straight upstairs to the bathroom. I had felt like I was having mild “symptoms” but we all know how cruel the side effects of estrogen and progesterone can be…so my hopes were realistic at best.

Pretty quickly, the test showed positive. As soon as I read that word (I took the digital test), I got up from the toilet, shed some tears and collapsed on the bed staring at it for several minutes in pure shock. I called the husband, asked him to come home for lunch and picked up his favorites from Chick-fil-A. I tucked the test in the bag of food (Yes! I put a stick I peed on near his food, ha!) and that’s where he found it. 

It was a great moment and we felt happy and oh so grateful. I think deep down inside kinda knew. This 2WW had been different somehow, but I can’t really put my finger on it.

The very next day at 9dp5dt, I went for my beta test and the results came in…242! The nurse said that was a great number πŸ™‚ so we were again grateful. The husband and my mom were immediately saying this is it! I was and am no where near that statement. I was to return to retest Monday morning at 11dp5dt. Monday it felt like we waited around all day for the results, but finally…573. Hallelujah. They wanted the number to double, and it more than doubled. Again, beyond grateful.

At that time we were told to continue meds: estradiol 3x daily, Crinone 2x daily, Progesterone vaginal suppository at bedtime. And return for 3rd beta on Monday, 04/24, which is finally right around the corner.

Since the last beta, I have been a ball of nerves. I have had more diarrhea, but I think it’s finally settling. I have felt pinches and twinges here and there in the lower abdominal area…I’m assuming in my uterus. I’ve also had intermittent breast tenderness. These things come and go…and when they go, I’ve allowed panic and PTSD to settle in against my better judgment.

I don’t really believe any of this could actually be real.

Now onto the scare. Today at work I went to the restroom, where all the horror stories start! I’ve been wearing panty liners 24/7 due to all the vaginal meds I’ve been on. At any rate I quickly noticed what looked like dark reddish brownish flecks on the liner and the tissue. It made my heart skip a beat but when I took a closer look and accepted that this was not normal spotting at all, I was able to breathe. And whatever it was, there wasn’t too much of it. 

As soon as I returned to my office I quietly closed the door and called the nurse. I left a voice mail which she returned within 5 minutes. Thank you God for her speed. She explained that the Crinone which is inserted with an applicator can cause vaginal irritation and can evidently aggravate your cervix, too. I won’t go into quite the level of detail here, but she knew exactly what I meant by the flecks I saw. She explained that she wasn’t worried at all, but to increase my water intake as it could also be a sign of dehydration. She said she didn’t expect to hear back from me this weekend. She was so very reassuring. Bless her.

I hung up and immediately called the husband to give him the news. We are both okay but also both on high alert. I’m in that fun phase where I feel the need to check my underwear every 20 minutes…God.

I mostly feel like things are okay, but the fear creeps in. And it’s still so very early. I will feel briefly reassured if Monday’s beta test is good. I’m told they want to see the numbers over 1000. Has anyone else had this sort of experience with Crinone? I feel like I’m having a bit of very mild burning down there too…not when I urinate, but right now while I’m lying in bed. This happened one evening earlier in the week but then it passed by the morning. I was worried about a potential UTI, but I read that burning can be another side effect of this med as well. God only knows…

So that’s where we are. I don’t know when or how to believe any of this. But we will continue to pray like nobody’s business for all of us walking through I-Want-A-Baby-Land.

xoxo.

Donor Egg IVF: Transfer Day :)

I wasn’t sure we would get to this day…it’s been more than 6 long months since we made the decision to use a donor egg. It was a roller coaster experience…like most parts of an infertility journey. Even up to days before the donor’s egg retrieval I was fearful she might back out. She always had that choice. 

Hallelujah, she stuck with it.

After all the heartache and praying, today we transferred one fresh 5 day blastocyst.

Now comes the short but ever so long 9 day wait for the blood test. Today, I’m taking it easy. I may or may not have had ice cream and popcorn in bed! Hence the above photo with a blanket backdrop ;).

We learned this morning that as of today, three embryos had made it to the blastocyst stage…so one went in me and two were frozen…vitrified to be exact.

There are evidently a couple more that look close, but either way they have 2 more days to grow so we will get an update tomorrow and Saturday. It feels good to know already that we have 2 backups. It really has taken the stress levels way down from our previous cycles where we only had one. I found a neat little video that shows how embryos develop, see below.

I took today and tomorrow off of work for a relaxing 4 day weekend. No current plans other than acupuncture on Saturday to hopefully aid in implantation. I saw her yesterday and she sent me off with taped needles in my hands and legs as well as small seeds taped to my ears. We had to apply pressure to all of these areas immediately after the procedure today.

So right now I have a teeny, tiny microscopic baby in there. I hope it latches on quickly and decides to stick around for a while. Please, please, please. ❀

Happy Thursday.

xoxo.

Donor Egg IVF: Egg Retrieval & Fertilization

We got 25 Easter Eggs from our donor yesterday!

And the update from the lab today is they injected sperm (via ICSI) into 23 and 18 have fertilized 😊!

Next update is Tuesday, day 3. 

Transfer is tentatively scheduled for Thursday morning. It will be our first fresh transfer.

We have been praying and lighting candles.

I will try and stay relaxed between now and Tuesday. 

Enjoy your Sunday.

xoxo

Donor Egg IVF: Trigger Shot Tonight!

Knockout roses for you. Because we all need to stop and smell them.

So yes, tonight our donor triggers for a Saturday morning egg retrieval. Husband has to report there at 8:15am for his contribution. He’s excited. I’m excited that tomorrow is my last Lupron injection. After that it’s back to the Estradiol, Crinone, Progesterone transfer prep combination. Hard to believe we will be back in this place we’ve been before.

Sunday we will get the fertilization rate. It’s going to be a stressful 5 days. Right now they are tentatively preparing for a Thursday transfer. I don’t even know. It’s all so scary. Putting our hearts on the chopping block. Again.

I will try to remain calm and at peace. It’s weird that I don’t have to go through the retrieval this time. I just hang out and wait. 

As usual.

And I’ll pray. Sleep tight!

xoxo.

Donor Egg IVF: Ups and Downs

Happy Redbud Spring!

It’s been a whirlwind of a week and next week will be even more intense. So our donor started her stimulation meds last Saturday. By Tuesday she was due in for her first “dosing sonogram” to see how the meds were working. I was excited to get the update.

How do you think I felt when I learned on Wednesday that not only did she miss her Tuesday appointment, but when they got her in first thing Wednesday morning, they learned she skipped her Tuesday night meds! @#$€$&Β£Β₯β‚©%!!!!!!!!!

My heart sank and I was in a total panic. I talked to the on call nurse who told me they were all concerned. They explained the gravity of the situation to the donor and after that all any of us could do is pray. Luckily this happened at the beginning of the stimulation, which they said she could recover from if she didn’t mess up again.  Her next appointment was Saturday…today.

I reminded myself, she is a very young woman. 21 or 22. What was I doing at 21? Not donating eggs, that’s for sure. I didn’t even know egg donation existed when I was 21. So she gets points for that. 

In my panic I insisted to the husband we go out for margaritas at my fave place so that’s how we rode out the night. I was ever so slightly at ease knowing I would see my doctor the next day for my uterine lining check and was hopeful that he would make me feel better about the situation. Needless to say I did not sleep well Wed night.

The next afternoon I met with my RE and the good news was that my lining was a 7.6 πŸ˜†. That means I’ve hit the mark and remain on my 3 estradiol doses per day with a single daily Lupron injection until the transfer.

Doc told me that he explained to the donor that if she misbehaved again, she would be terminated from the program and she would lose the fee she is due following the egg retrieval. We could only hope that the thought of losing $6k was enough to get her attention. 

God!!! The suspense!

He was so supportive of me though. He held my hand, hugged me, and told me we were going to win. I love my doctor. It was an emotional appointment. Especially when he reminded me I am out of control of the situation as evidenced by my file…which is now 2-3 inches thick. It’s one of those scary files, like when you’re new to IVF and you see the doctor carrying that for someone else and you’re like yeah right not me.

Not so much!

So I got the message from the on-call nurse today. Hallelujah, the donor made it in for her appointment and currently has 14 follicles growing 😍😍😍. It looks good, and she is due back in on Monday. Original prediction was March 30th for egg retrieval, now they are predicting trigger on Thursday the 30th with a Saturday a.m. retrieval. WHOA.

That timeline works out well too, because of what else is on the calendar for this week. Like all this isn’t enough…Monday I have a root canal. And then worse than that, on Thursday the husband is being sedated to have all 4 wisdom teeth extracted plus 3 more. That’s SEVEN teeth! Moral of that story is DO NOT allow yourself, your spouse or your child (or anyone you care about) to have a 20+ year phobia of the dentist. It won’t go well. I promise. He has had terrible infections and been in excruciating pain over the years and it didn’t have to happen. But such is life. He’s getting it taken care of now. The beginning anyway. There will be extensive restoration too. $$$$$.

So there you have it. Who knows what’s next? 

I will pray. Nothing else to do.

I have been doing some springtime gardening. I planted some seeds and it’s been fun to watch them grow. Also, for the first time ever I’ve decorated with a few Easter decorations since my life right now revolves around eggs. I’m hoping they help with good egg Karma. It’s really been inspiring me to get 2-3 chickens for fresh eggs and company too. Haven’t quite got the husband on board though. Maybe one day but we do have a lot of hot pots going right now…

I was sick recently, so I put a blanket out in the yard to lie on with my pup for some fresh air. This was my view.

Thinking of all of us and keeping the hope alive.

xoxo

 

Donor Egg IVF: A Happy Surprise

I had my first sonogram of this cycle today…the dildo cam is officially back in my life. Doc had to verify that there were no cysts before we get rolling with meds…TOMORROW. I’m happy to say I got a clean bill of health and the all clear to start Lupron. 

I met with my nurse, signed away my life, chit-chatted a bit and was on my way. 

It’s probably been 5-6 months since I have been back in that office, so it was a bit surreal. There were some new faces too. Time keeps moving. 

So when I was with my nurse she mentioned noticing that I had received some insurance coverage for my meds (to which I was like, wait what?)…because this came in on Saturday:

Yeah that’s an island full of meds. Crinone, progesterone suppositories, Estradiol, antibiotic, Lupron, needles, sharps container, alcohol wipes…a DEIVF girl’s happy place. Freedom Pharmacy quoted me $1900 for this order. Progesterone is very expensive! When I got home today I had 2 pieces of mail from my health insurance. Both said my Lupron and Crinone were covered. Wait. WHAT? Wuuuuuuuuuuttttttttttttt?!

I logged onto my credit card statement and saw that they only charged me $230 TOTAL! OH. MY. GAWD. 

My mom says it’s a good omen. Whatevs, I’ll take it. All I could do was lay on the sofa in shock. And then stuff my face with a pulled pork sandwich, homemade by the hubby. Even though I’m “not” eating bread right now. The bun was so good.

So that’s my happy surprise. Thank goodness too bc I’ll be paying for the donor’s meds in a week or so. Bless her. And this cycle.

Praying for all of us.

xoxo.