New Year, BIG Surprises

It’s strange for me to be writing this post. I hope whatever words I use won’t hurt anyone who reads this. I’m very nervous and confused.

And thankful.

I started spotting on Christmas day. It was too early for my period- or at least I thought, but its kind of hard to know since I was on a natural, unmedicated cycle for the first time in over a year. I told Mr Upside that I hoped my full flow would hold off for a few days longer. We were about to hop on a plane to California and if I got my period early, I worried it would mess up the timing for my estradiol and baseline for my forthcoming FET.

Well, it did hold off. The spotting continued for a few days and I chalked it up to my well-known progesterone issues.

Then the spotting stopped.

Then it came back. Brown and tacky.

We flew back from California on Dec 30. On New Year’s Eve, I went about my business preparing for dinner and cocktails with Mr Upside that night- keeping it low key.

At that point, I was what I calculated to be a few days late. On a whim, I casually pulled out a Wondfo and half-heartedly peed on it. I’d been down this road before- but hey. Why not. Then I hopped in the shower and forgot about it for a bit. When I looked, there was a faint pink line.

Which I chalked up to an evap. I hadnt looked at it in the right time frame. But it is hard to squash hope when it rises in your chest.

So an hour later, I took a FRER.

There were two lines.

I was shaking and lightheaded. I called Mr Upside down from the upstairs and he looked at them. “Um, I think we’re pregnant,” he said. I called my on-call IVF nurse and told her I had just tested. She was floored and told me to get a beta the next day. So, my NYE was alcohol-free and I got up at 7 am to drive to the only lab open to get my blood draw.

My beta was 177. I. Am. PREGNANT.

I just had my second beta results: 483. I AM STILL PREGNANT.

I was shaking and crying when I first got those lines. Now, I am stunned, flabbergasted, in disbelief.

A year and a half of infertility…failed femara, triggers, IUIs, even IVF/FET. And when I didnt temp, when I didnt time anything- I got pregnant.

I am 4 weeks and 4 days today. It is SO SO early and anything could happen and I am acutely aware of that. But for someone who has never seen 2 lines in my life, I am beyond shocked and thankful for this little miracle.

I nicknamed it Little Rabbit. I have a habit of trying to wake up in the new year saying “Rabbit Rabbit” for good luck. I think its a british thing? Anyway, I did so the morning of 2017, hours before my beta.

Little Rabbit, my big miracle, please grow healthy and strong.

Slowing Down for Christmas

Happy December everyone. December is one of my very favorite months, because despite not being religious, Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year. I love Christmas music, I love lights, I love Christmas trees, you name it. Mr Upside is ethnically Jewish, but TOTALLY non practicing, despite the fact that his uncle and aunt are Rabbis….but still, I like to throw a little Hanukkah in the mix 🙂 The first year we were married I made like 100 latkes for Hanukkah, which I have to admit, were pretty good for a shiksa.

I suppose I love holiday traditions of all kinds.

It’s keeping me busy. My mind occupied. After my second (horrendous) ERA biopsy, there really isn’t anything to do but wait. I got my period* yesterday but this is the first time i haven’t had to call my nurse about it- December, for me, will be a completely natural cycle. No hormones, no pills, not even birth control. I can’t remember the last time that was the case.

I suppose December is meant to be this way. I chose to not have the transfer, and although the decision ate at me for a few days, I am now 100% convinced it was the right one- even with how painful the biopsy was. This is where I am meant to be right now: under the lights of my tree, snuggling with my cat, finishing up work projects, writing holiday cards, enjoying drinks with my husband, making travel plans for Christmas. Now is not the time for 1-line panic attacks, for symptom spotting, for over-analysis of my body.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, or if you celebrate none, I hope you are all restful and peaceful during this last month of 2016. So many of us have had it so very hard, and I wish you calmness and grace these last few weeks. Thanks for always being there for me ❤

 

 

 

 

*I am pretty sure its my period. I was on 6 days of Crinone and then 2 days of provera. My RE wanted me to do 4 days of provera but I only did 2, half because I timed it that way and half because I honestly forgot. Yesterday my flow was relatively heavy, had some clots, etc.  Today is seems very light which is odd. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I get my next period close to NYE for an early-mid Jan transfer. ❤

The FET Diaries: Trying to Move On

First of all thank you so much for all your kind comments not the last post. I didnt have the emotional energy to respond to most of them, but they are felt in my heart and appreciated.

I’m 2 days past negative beta, but I have “known” I wasn’t pregnant for about 5. I thought after my beta things could get better, but yesterday was pretty rough. I had an appt with my IF therapist and cried the entire hour. I was on really shaky emotional ground, but then I had my WTF appt with my RE, and I think it went well.

I basically prepared a massive spreadsheet with all the possible things I wanted to look into and get his opinion on. He totally handled everything well and appreciated I had done my research. Basically he told me “I am disappointed, but I am not discouraged. I understand you are discouraged, but we at the clinic are not.” And that implantation rates for a PGS embryo are still only like at most 60%.

He has agreed to starting prednisone (I need my immunologist or dermatologist to write me that prescription for my skin problems I am having a big flare of right now) and even says that for women with DOR in the IVF process he often uses it as protocol. He is quite opposed to using blood thinners, as the risks outweigh any evidence of benefit, although he wants me to continue baby aspirin. He basically said clotting is more of a miscarriage problem and less an implantation one, and that science does not show evidence that would support the use of a serious blood thinner and that I need to continue baby aspirin.

I talked to him a bit about PIO v crinone and he said pregnancy rates are the same (no statistically difference- I have confirmed this through looking up studies from NIH) but that he is absolutely happy to have me switch to PIO if it would make me feel better and said “it is the gold standard.” The problem with that is I would need Mr Upside around every day for my shots and he travels for work quite a bit.

He left a final decision up to me: to go straight to another FET cycle or to use this next cycle to do an ERA test. So basically everything would be the same except instead of transfer, they would biopsy my uterine lining. Apparently there are a decent # of women (like 20%?) whose linings are not receptive on the typical day 5 and that protocol would be adjusted. My RE seems to think we should try again before ERA (it is expensive, not cover by insurance, time consuming, and painful) because it really could be a numbers game. But he will support whichever I choose.

It seems like ERA is becoming more and more prominent in treating failed FETs (and fresh?). I am going to take the next 4 days to discuss with my husband and figure out what to do. If the second FET fails, he will strongly recommend ERA, which I agree with. I will probably go ahead with FET in November, partially because trying to coordinate a transfer with all the holiday travel in Dec would be a lot more difficult than a biopsy where I would not have to worry as much. It could take 1 or 2 months to deal with the ERA test, which is frustrating but if it leads to more answers, then great.

I am just trying to recover this weekend. We have friends in town. Mr Upside brought me coffee (yes coffee!!!!) in bed and last night bought me a lot of drinks. After tomorrow we will sit and discuss what our thoughts are on next cycle.

xx to you all. Trying to move on.

The FET Diaries: 1dp5dt

Well, hey everyone! Here I am, on the there side of my transfer.

Transfer was yesterday at 11:30 AM. It went off without a hitch! AND GUESS WHAT: MR UPSIDE MADE IT!!! He figured out how to drive up for his meetings this morning instead of yesterday morning. I know he was super stressed but boy am I glad he was able to be there.

Honestly everything was fine and not a big deal except for the EXTREMELY full bladder that only got worse once the speculum was introduced. I actually asked to let some pee out and my RE did let me and my bladder was still full so it was fine.

It was incredible to watch the little one go inside. Two big screen TVs that showed zoomed-in versions of the little one and also the insertion into my uterus. So wild! I came home and rested the rest of the day, watching TV and such. My RE said not to be on bed rest bc its good to get blood flowing to the uterus, so to do very minor things like just watching TV, etc. And not to lift up anything heavier than 10 lbs which is sad bc I can’t pick up my sweet cat! Haha.

The one bad thing is that husband and I got in a fight last night. I wanted to stay as calm as humanly possible but I felt it slipping away from me and then I just started crying and got worked up and had to go to bed. It was so dumb- I honestly think I was just really overwhelmed from the whole process that I couldn’t calm down- nothing even happened, I just felt like he wasn’t being as “calming” as I thought he should. Ugh. I feel bad about getting myself worked up but I am much better today.

MUCH BETTER.

I am having very very minor cramping on twinges on my left side, which I am sure means nothing, but- I haven’t been on any different drugs since transfer– I have been taking the same amt of progesterone as the week before- and I can’t help my brain from wondering what this is. Anyway. Distracting myself with work and bad tv and cats! (That I won’t pick up).

Let’s do this thing!

 

xx

Swallowing the Pill: Estradiol & Expectations

Mr. Upside can’t come to my transfer. He has a business trip that can’t be changed because it’s for a conference, not a one-off meeting. It’s very frustrating. He promises it won’t be like this forever, that this is the last of the year (till next June) and that he wants to be there instead. And I get it. I don’t want to make him feel bad over something he can’t control, and for a job that allows us to afford a lot of the treatment we pursue. He makes more money than I do. But I wish it weren’t happening this way.

He’ll be gone the whole week, so we initially thought we could move the day a day or two, but it won’t make a difference.

So I am *tentatively* scheduled for an Oct 4 transfer and I will be going alone. Which is not at all what I wanted, or expected. And yet I am trying to pick my battles. We decided we  could push it back a whole month, but I don’t want to. I have to realize I, too, am choosing this date– to go forward while he’s not in the city.

Anyway. Thank you for all your nice notes. My grandma’s funeral is next weekend and we’ll both be going up for that and spending time with my family.

Other than this, things are pretty status quo. I started estradiol in pill form yesterday. Two little blue pills a day until a week from now when I kick into into gear with THREE pills a day. I was scrolling through Instagram with the hashtag #estradiol last night to find others’ IF journeys and I realized half the people who take it are actually transitioning sexes, MTF. So it was funny and eye-opening. Of course that makes sense- it’s pure estrogen! I’m waiting to become EVEN MORE of a woman than I am now 🙂

 

San Diego Hiatus

My MIL booked me a surprise ticket to join the family in San Diego this weekend. It’s so beautiful by the ocean and nice to be with family and I knew it’d be good for the soul.

And so it has been. The beach, the salt water, the sunsets, the crisp air- a nice change of pace as I am now 4 days away from my baseline and obsessing about all my IVF, egg quality concerns.

My SIL and BIL have 2 little girls and it’s nice to spend time with them, but it also hurts to see how easy some people have had it in terms of growing a family. It’s hard to avoid thinking about my infertility around them, worrying that I may never get this. 

I told my BIL and SIL at dinner and they asked me some questions about IVF. My sweet sis in law suggested that she could put me in contact with some coworkers who have also gone through IVF. 

I’ve always known they were debating having a 3rd child, but haven’t talked much about it with them. Last night my BIL and I took a walk and he talked to me about how they conceived their 2 girls on the first try, but when they went to try for a 3rd they had 4 or 5 months with no luck and so they put plans on hiatus. EXCUSE ME? I love the guy but I CANT EVEN with him about that. How are you going to tell an actual infertile family member that 4 months for your 3rd bio child is hard on you? I swear, some people really don’t get it.

I guess they’re going to try again in a bit and get pregnant and I’m absolutely dreading it, sadly. It’s so hard to be around family who is overly fertile when Mr Upside and I may never have children. Every pregnancy is like a punch in the gut right now, and knowing my MIL only has grandkids from 1 side is even tougher. 

Acupuncture and Paperwork

So I went to my first acupuncture appointment today! She told me I had a “cold uterus” and stuck like 44 needles in me. It was actually really relaxing! I spent 30 minutes face down and then 30 min on my back. I am not sure I believe in the efficacy of the treatment, but it is, at the very least, a relaxing hour in my day. Also, 90% of the needles didnt hurt going in, but as soon as she stuck one in my right leg, the bottom of my foot felt this crazy surge of energy or something, which was pretty weird and fascinating! I really like my acupuncturist. She also told me, while looking at my chart and background, that I really might have egg quality issues. Which just confirmed my biggest concerns right now. She doesn’t know for sure, of course, and she’s not an RE, but it was something she immediately said.

I just don’t know what I will do if we go through all of this and have 0 PGS normal day 5 blasts. I mean, I really might lose it. And there’s nothing I can do to figure it out in advance. This is so hard to go through and people on the outside really don’t have a clue.

Anyway, then Mr Upside and I met at our clinic and signed our official paperwork with our IVF nurse. Got to go over some really cheery stuff about what to do with our embryos if we divorce or die.  But honestly, signing the paperwork was another check off the list and another step forward on this journey to what I eventually believe will be a baby. I hope and hope and hope and will try what I can for it to be genetically ours, but, if its not- it will still be a baby. I hope. One day.

Came back to do some work on the couch and snuggle with my cat. The best support system there is!

7 DPIUI, Eh?

I’m all packed up. Mr Upside and I are set to leave on a 7 am flight tomorrow to head to Quebec for the holiday weekend. We really need it.

I am 7DPIUI today and trying to not lose my mind. I have been having a weird twinge of groin pain- but its not in the “right spot” for it to be any sort of “positive” sign. I don’t have any nausea, NO sore boobs, nothing. Nada. I had a small spotting episode- very light- this morning. I promptly freaked out for a few hours, but I also realized that progesterone suppositories can irritate the cervix and cause some bleeding. Which is just REALLY hilarious since I’m on progesterone suppositories to prevent spotting in the first place!

This shit is just really something else, huh?

I am worried about getting my hopes up this cycle. I don’t want to come crashing down when it’s negative. I want to instead prepare myself for IVF.

And I want to have a nice trip away. I am packing 2 pregnancy tests to bring with me in Canada so that I can test before I leave with my husband there. I hope I get through whatever news it is.

xxx

#MicroblogMondays: First Mother’s Day as an Infertile

microblog_mondays

So yesterday was Mother’s Day, obviously. It was also my first one as a full-fledged infertile person. This time last year, I wasn’t yet diagnosed.

I knew that the day would be hard. I took precautions to avoid emotional landmines and ended up having a nice time. I sent my husband off to see his mom with a card packed from me to her. Then I drove up to see my parents and brought my sweet cat. He made me a fur mom and I know it isn’t the same but yet- when I look at him- some of the brokenness inside me really does heal.

We spent time with my grandma, and then my mom & dad and I got brunch. Then I drove back home with my little lion and my husband flew back from surprising his mom last night and we had such a nice Upside Family evening all together ❤ Through all this trial and tribulation, I would not trade them for the world (or, easy fertility).

IUI #1

Well, IUI #1 is under my belt! I had my Ovidrel shot overnighted to me from some specific pharmacy, per my insurance instructions. It came in a REALLY intimidating box and inside a giant foil bag. The above photo is the shot itself.

Mr Upside gave me my trigger a little after 6 pm on Saturday evening. I thought it might involve a bit of yelling, on both our parts 😉 — but we were a great team! I’m sure I could have given it to myself, but I felt like it just made more sense to do it together, so my husband could be involved as well. Hmm, maybe I’ll write a post on that in the future..

Anyway, I started getting a lot of twinges of pain around both ovaries Sunday afternoon/evening- which I assume was my follicles rapidly growing. Then today I went in for the IUI!

The whole thing went really quickly. It took only about 1 minute for the actual procedure, then another 10 minutes to lie down on the table awkwardly with no pants on, while a kitchen timer was ticking down. Pretty amusing, really.

I’ve had some cramping after the IUI but its not too bad. Now all we do is sit and wait.

I’ve been so up and down though this whole cycle– feeling crushed that my follicles weren’t growing, feeling hopeful when they were- I don’t really know what to think. I’m certainly on board for another IUI, but part of me is also very impatient about a 3rd or a 4th…especially since stats are so low. I guess we’ll just wait and see. I mean, hey- who knows- its unlikely this one will be successful, but its certainly a possibility.

xx.

 

**PS. As I was leaving, the receptionist said “Its always a good idea to have sex the night after!” I have to be honest- I am pretty crampy and tired and not exactly in a mood! Hoping that if I opt out it wouldn’t hurt our changes….