Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Beta #3 - 19dp3dt

This morning I felt very anxious before the blood test.

During the last IVF cycle, this day (19dp3dt) was the furthest along I'd been in days (with that pathetic beta of 23) although not in HCG levels!

So I was snappy and irritable. I do remember apologising to my husband.

We had the blood test as normal (oh, my previous beta number is 3900) and then went to have our car inspection (our new insurer requires this) and straight afterwards, we went to look at a car my DH wanted to see. I said I'll stay in our car because of the phone call.

I didn't want to miss speaking to the nurse again and not know the actual number! I hoped the assistants doing the medical coding wouldn't mess up my results.

Sure enough, about 15 seconds later, the call comes in on my cell phone. My number is 7318!!!!!

Everything's fine, blah blah blah, continue all medication (folic acid, estropause, cyclogest and ecotrin (baby aspirin) and come in for the scan on Wed 14th January. That is the 7-week scan, I think!

Intellectually I'm happy, excited, etc. but deep down I feel that I can't let myself get too excited because what if something goes wrong?

Also, no real symptoms. Then again I don't know what I'm looking for.

I would love not to have morning sickness - so far nothing. I seem to want to eat all the time (not unusual since I do have a healthy appetite). Not a lot but even just a piece of fruit feels good. And I'm loving protein (I'm a carbs girl usually).

My boobs are sore and bigger which is very good and I'm tired a lot. That could be because I worked up until 24th and am now on leave so my body's finally relaxing....

I am peeing all the time. Of course I've been told by the clinic to drink 2.5 - 3L of water daily so it could be that. I usually drink 2L anyway but I need the loo every 40 minutes it seems.

Actually now that I wrote it out, it seems I do have symptoms! And, of course, the numbers are talking loud and clear :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beta #2 17dp3dt

Woke up at the crack of dawn to get to the lab for the blood test. The parking lot was FULL of cars, probably all the scans and people starting their cycles.

(the lab is on the 1st floor and the clinic is on the 2nd - very useful)

I told the nurse that we'd be in church so if they got my voicemail to just leave a message and this is what it said:

"Your levels are rising beautifully just as they should. We'll see you on Tuesday again for your next blood test."

Only actually got the number later - 3900!

Thanks to Nity I can now indulge my inner nerd and play with numbers on babymed.com :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I can hardly believe it

I'm pregnant. At my first beta today, my count was 826. I go back again on Sunday and then again on Tuesday.

What a wonderful Christmas present.

I'm happy (intellectually) but it hasn't reached my heart yet - I still feel numb.

I think I'll start relaxing a bit when the discharge stops - now that will be a great Christmas present.

Also, last time the beta kept dropping but this one is so high that I'm cautiously optimistic. My friend is convinced it's twins because hers was 1000 at 16dp3dt and this is only 13dp3dt for me.

I've been testing every two days since day 9 but I can't find the pic of day 11. Faint line but a line nonetheless.

Day 11 - line was stronger and appeared much quicker

Today - day 13.

Yesterday after I posted about the spotting, we watched Baby Mama (EXCELLENT - have you seen it?) and then it was time for bed. When I went to the loo, RED so I flipped. I was up at 6:30 this morning too scared to do the test. Eventually I did and here's the result.

Apparently there is a lady from our infertility group who bled for the ENTIRE 3 months of her pregnancy (proper bleeding, sometimes even chunks of tissue - sorry for tmi) and she's just had her twins a few weeks ago. There is hope!

I'm praying that these numbers continue to double until Sunday, and then again until Tuesday next week.

In January it'll be 4 years since we've been trying and I'll be glad to finally be pregnant. I did my goals for next year and I put "healthy pregnancy" on there.

Time to go visit some blogs before bed!

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I've been spotting for a week

Last Wednesday evening (this was 6dp3dt) I started spotting.

I had some severe cramps and when I went to the loo, a brown discharge (sorry if TMI for you) which I'm told is better than a red/ pink discharge.

I had a bit of a freak-out and got straight into bed, did my Cyclogest and read until I fell asleep.

The discharge was almost gone the next day but I've been "spotting" just a tiny bit in the morning and in the evening since then. All brown so trying not to worry.

I left work nearly two hours ago and as is my custom, I went to the loo before leaving the building. And there is reddish-brown stuff. I'd intended to go to the library on the way home but I drove straight home and have been lazing around.

oh dear, why now??? I am So. Close. (tomorrow's my blood test).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm huge!

I stopped getting on the scale oh, about a week ago, because already I'd gained about 2,5 kg (that's just over 5 pounds) by then and decided to stop torturing myself.

I remember after the first IVF, in that month of waiting, it was SO amazing to have my pants swishing around my thighs again. I gain weight around my bum and thighs first.

How's your weight been affected by IVF?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Infertility and the Christian (2)

I've posted on this subject before but I wanted to post again because I'm a lot further along the IF path than I was then.

I'm one of those Bible-believing, hand-raising Christians and I took a long time to get around to IVF (for us).

Eventually it clicked for me - if I had any other disease, I'd pursue whatever it took to get me sorted out. IF is a disease (we do not have unexplained IF) and therefore, because we can afford it right now, we are pursuing it wholely.

This whole thing was sealed in my mind when the embryologist came to talk at the support group and said "once they put that embryo back in we ALL start praying". That reassured me of what I had always known, which is ...we do what we can (faith without works is dead) and yet, we recognise that every child is a gift from God so ultimately, He is sovereign.

I don't personally understand people who just say "oh, I'm believing God" because I'm about taking some responsibility for your life. I have a 43-year-old friend who REFUSES to do ANY IF treatment, not even Clomid or IUI because she's standing in faith. I think that's crazy but that's me.

Again, I think it's each couple's decision and what makes sense for one couple will be crazy to another.

I do realise that you can never be totally certain about things. I always said I'd never do an IVF and here I am, having done 2. We are now in the 2ww.

So the lines in the sand keep shifting and that's okay :)

So how do you feel about the whole "if it's meant to be it'll happen" thing?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tagged to share my randomness

Hey! I've been tagged by Virginia to share 7 bits of randomness.

Okay then!

  1. I have this crazy memory for details. I may meet you and have a conversation, not see you for a year but when we meet again, I'll ask you all about what we spoke about. People always think this is incredible.
  2. I am going through the worst time at work ever! My self-confidence has never been this low. A friend said that it's all related to the IF. Could be but the work still sucks.
  3. My parents divorced about 6 years ago after 28 years of marriage. My father remarried; my mother says she never will.
  4. I wonder if I'll ever find a job again where I can only use my strengths and be GREAT at what I do.
  5. I love taking pictures of good-looking food - my friends and family think I'm weird :)
  6. I'm not really a typical girl with a thing for shoes (unless you count thong flip flops) but oh boy, I do love handbags, especially red ones (I have 5!)
  7. I've never had a pedicure. However, I've booked one for mid-Jan.

I'm tagging Sarah, Mo and Cindy (whose blog I just started reading - I'm addicted)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Embryo transfer - two!

taken as a self-portrait

Arrived at the clinic this morning with the same girl from my infertility group. When we got upstairs, we found one of the other couples there and of course, started speculating about the other two couples.

After a few minutes, the one with the bad egg retrieval experience arrived.

We were called in for our ET chat with Dr V. Of those 4 embryos, 2 had stopped dividing today and were both still at 6 cells. One was at 8 cells and one at 9 cells so we're transferring those two.

Went down to the theatre and got started with drinking all the water. One of the ladies jumped the queue so when she was done it was my turn.

Dr J was there and I told him, "please be gentle with me" to which he says, "am I not always gentle?"

Yes, he actually is. His scans are the best because they are not painful in the least.

Anyway, he was BRILLIANT (no pain - last time it was sore when they tried to put the catheter into my cervix) and I pronounced him the BEST at doing this. He laughed but I think he was pleased.

During the procedure he kept saying, "relax" and I said, "I can't" so he said, "nonsense, you can do anything you put your mind to". I like that strong talking so I started relaxing.

Anyway, I am now pregnant until proven otherwise.

Came home after sorting out the payment at the clinic and slept for four hours, woke to do a teleseminar and then went to sleep again with no problems.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cells are multiplying beautifully

Our instruction sheet says to phone the clinic between 8 and 10am to check on the embryology.

Well, I was so scared that none of our eggs would have fertilised that I waited and waited and waited...eventually my friend emails me at 9.45 and says, "so?????"

To which I replied, "I'm terrified to phone in case the news is bad" so she reminded me that Dr G would have already phoned me.

So then I plucked up the courage and got that great fertilisation report.


Today, same story but not as nerve-wracking.

The nurse said, "you have 4 that are all moving along great".

So everything is set for embryo transfer tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Oh my word, I can't believe it

3 eggs fertilised normally and there is 1 maybe.


Egg retrieval - were you awake?

Yesterday after all our eggs had been retrieved, we all started talking in the ward and the one lady said this was her 2nd IVF.

The first one was at another clinic where she was AWAKE during the egg retrieval. Very long story short but they punctured her uterus, bleeding, infection, etc. and they only (!) got about 25 of the eggs even though there were 37 follicles because she was in too much pain.

I listened to this with my mouth literally hanging open.

I remember when Dr G first explained the process to me and he mentioned "conscious sedation". You are numbed from pain but will hear the doctor and nurses working.

I was horrified - what if I still feel something? what if I move and something dreadful happens? What if? What if? What if?

They told me that they've never had a lady feel a thing - they make sure of that. Of course, I don't believe doctors when they say that. First of all, they're men and second, they call painful things "discomfort" so what do they know.

But then, surprisingly, my first ER was exactly that - totally painless. I don't know what they put in that needle but it totally knocked me out.

So when I read this on Clio's blog and realised that not every clinic puts you out.

How do the rest of you do it?

Also, last time I asked the doctor if the PIO injections were better than the pessaries. He said no, the pessaries are better because they're local, they go to the site quickly. The injections go through the blood first so a reduced amount gets to where they need to. So pessaries it is - I wear pads so they don't mess up my panties.

Monday, December 08, 2008

This is the part I hate

Last night I was so emotional - I even cried a bit.

I'm so scared that nothing will fertilise because we did not discuss the IVF/ ICSI thing and I was so out of it afterwards, I forgot to ask them.

I do know they didn't charge me for ICSI, only for normal IVF.

Egg retrieval

We were late because of the traffic, but not badly (only 15 minutes).

Four of us there - of course we all recognised each other from the waiting room but no-one talks except me.

One of the girls from the infertility support group was there so I started chatting to her.

Mine was scheduled for 9.30 but I was shown to the second slot (they position you as you're scheduled) because I'd been moved up in the queue.

I thought it was because those follicles were so big (maybe they were scared that they could burst - this is just my imagination running wild??? what does happen if they grow too big?) but later found out it's because of our sperm issues. Ahem!

Anyway, got my vital signs checked and I'd just managed to write out one Christmas card and a few notes in my notebook when they were ready for me. Oy!

This time they put the IV in my wrist so it was SORE. I have very, very thin wrists. There is NO fat whatsoever so it basically feels like they're stabbing a bone!

All I remember is Dr J (are you confused about all the doctors? There are 3 of them and they all work together however your doctor consults with you, especially when they have to tell you bad news) saying, "you're going to feel very relaxed; go with that feeling", I took a deep breath and the next thing I knew, I was waking up in the ward.

So the good news is this - THEY GOT FIVE EGGS out of five follicles. I was jubilant. Remember last time I had 10 follicles and 6 eggs, so being the factual person I am, I'd calculated 60% of 5 follicles is 3 eggs!

This retrieval was a bit more uncomfortable than the last time and a lot more blood. I know, gross, but hey, I have to keep a record somewhere!

Spent the rest of the day laying around at home, and on the computer, catching up with business tasks.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

You'd think I'd have a rest from the needles

but no, had to have another blood test today.

Didn't wait for the results because we had to get to church.

Had a lovely quiet day once we were home from church, relaxing and doing lots of nothing.

Strict instructions were to eat nothing after midnight. I'm a night owl so I decided to sleep early - after all, early start tomorrow. Have to be there at 7am.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

My adventures in triggering

Went for my scan and yet another blood test (estrogen 4700).

Today the follicles were at 22mm and at 21mm. Endometrium was 12mm.

Only problem with triggering was my long-awaited-for Rod Stewart concert.

They told me to do my injection at 9.30pm, 15 minutes on either side of 9.30 was okay but nothing more.

Well, Rod Stewart's show started at 8pm and he was scheduled to perform for 90 minutes.

I started getting anxious because they won't allow men to come into the female loos and of course, vice versa, not that I'd want to go in the male loos, because men are dirty!

And they usually don't allow pass-outs so no quick dash to the car and dash back.

Then my husband had a brilliant idea - we should go to the First Aid room and do it there.

The clinic gave me a letter and put all of the needles and amps in an envelope which was sealed. So no-one noticed anything when my bag was searched BUT we were early so we asked where the first aid room was and...it was ALL THE WAY on the other side of the venue.

They don’t let you walk around in sections you don’t belong in so you have to radio the medics to come collect you and since I didn’t look like I was dying...huge schlep, lots of explaining to do!

Amazingly, God was shining His favour on us because at 9:10 there was a short 10-minute break.

Of course, everybody dashes out of their seats so it's definitely going to be impossible to get all the way to where we have to be.

So I decided to shoot up right there in my seat!

I turned to the couple behind us and said, "listen, I’m not a druggie, I just need to have an injection RIGHT NOW and it's going to take me too long to get to the first aid section" He said, “go right ahead” and we did. I mixed the two vials, handed the needle to DH and he jabbed me. I think I was so geared up for the injection that it wasn’t even sore.

The concert was brilliant but more importantly, my eggs were safely triggered!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Day 8 scan - last day of injectibles

Today the "leading" follicles were 19 mm plus and the stragglers were at 16mm

Dr G said to reduce the dosage to 3 amps of Menopur and of course, have to have Cetrotide too.

No trigger today.

Also had to have a blood test - my estrogen was something like 4300?

So back tomorrow for yet another scan!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Day 7 - scan 3

Today my follicles are 17mm plus, some at 14, and my endometrium was 11,4mm. He wants me to have one more day with 4 amps of Menopur and, of course, the Cetrotide daily too. He wants to try get some of those 14mm ones ready. The goal is 18mm...and they grow about 2mm a day.

I'm finding with this cycle that I'm much more assertive. Let me just clarify - I have no problem being assertive generally but since this is all new to me, I generally haven't asked TOO many questions.

Not so this time around.

I want all the answers - yesterday I asked the nurse what my estrogen and progesterone levels were for the day 2 blood test (E 100, P 1.5). I assume that's fine since no one phoned me?

Just googled it - seems okay.

Today I said to the one nurse straight after the scan – please can I have a syringe and then where can we go to quickly do the injections? So she got it for me and showed me to an empty room. I'd planned to make a fuss today if they hassled me about a stupid syringe. All that money deserves some benefits!

So I assume tomorrow is trigger shot (if everything grows beautifully - will have to talk to the 14mm ones to GROW) and retrieval is on Sunday...so no interfering with Rod Stewart LOL

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Day 6 update - 2nd scan

There are 3 follicles on the one side and 2 on the other – I'm hoping that because there aren't many, they'll be more mature and we'll actually have eggs!

(however the switch to different medication hasn't resulted in loads of eggs as we were hoping so I'm not sure what we're going to do about the ICSI/ normal IVF thing)

BUT they are already at 14 and 15mm so they'll be monitoring me daily – have to go back tomorrow. He also reduced my dosage to 4 amps a day.

So I said to my husband while Dr V was scanning me, "I hope this doesn't interfere with Rod Stewart". So Dr V says, "when is his show?" And when I said Saturday he said, "we do the procedures in the morning anyway". I said I know, but I was totally out of it that ENTIRE day.

I was so cross earlier – we don't have alcohol swabs or syringes so I've been using the swabs from the cetrotide boxes and the syringes from the previous cycle (Gonal F ones) because you don't get the syringes with the boxes of Menopur.

The nurse says, "sorry, we can't give them to you if you're buying your own medication". I could see my hubby's face next to me but I told her, "well, can I use the cetrotide syringe afterwards to mix the menopur?" knowing full well I couldn't but I didn't quite feel like fighting.

"Oh no", she says so then she reluctantly gives me one swab and one syringe.

Started cetrotide today - first time this cycle it really hurt - that could also be because I'm actually properly awake when I'm getting these injections whereas when we do them at home, I'm half asleep :)

How are you all doing?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

NY times article on infertility and surrogacy

I just read this NY times article on infertility because several IF blogs linked to it.

First let me start off by saying that the author had some opinions that I raised my eyebrow at, but hey, it's her baby - she can pick whoever she wants and if she wants someone with a computer, fine with me.

Also, it's her right to pursue motherhood at all costs - nobody knows a particular couple's circumstances and why they make particular choices. I don't think I would spend $100 000 but then again, I don't know. We're not in their position, we don't have their money and if we did, who knows?

One of the IVF blogs wrote that they don't know if they could do 11 IVFs as this lady did. I'll paste my comment that I wrote on her blog.

"I also don't know that I could do that...but then again, I also said I'd never do IVF and here I am on my 2nd cycle. I guess the lines in the sand keep shifting according to our circumstances.

But I'll tell you something else - I am shocked at the judgement and intolerance of people. I really don't care whether the author is out and out evil (she's not) - nobody has the right to judge their choices and post all kinds of horrible comments.

This is exactly why we often keep our infertility a secret. It's because we're assaulted by this kind of ignorance that we feel shame. And we shouldn't.

I honestly didn't even consider the views of so many of the commenters.

I have very strong opinions on most things (!) but if I don't agree with people, I do respect their rights to their own opinions and I certainly do respect their choices.

I can't believe the comments, that say, amongst others...

Why would infertile people want to have biological children? What if they pass some disease along to their offspring? (I guess fertile people don't pass those same diseases along?)

Why don't infertile people save the world and adopt? (I don't speak for others but each couple's decisions are different. For us, it's not about just being parents. We want a biological child and until they tell us it's impossible, we'll keep trying.)

Why is it selfish for infertile people to pursue treatment? Is it because the money's being spent on children?

Why is it wrong for infertile people to use THEIR money as they want?

Coming back to the adoption...yes, there are lots of kids in the world, many of them available for adoption. But that doesn't take away the desire in a woman (and man) to have a child.

Please weigh in with your opinions. Tell me if I'm going crazy or what you feel


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