Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

I feel like I'm breaking up with the greatest love of my life. I thought that I was mourning a "lost" child but now I realize it's more like losing a relationship. I haven't felt this way since h1 and I split up. I feel alone, scared, uncertain of my future, a little useless, a little worthless and definitely like a failure. I'm not sleeping well, I'm not eating well and I'm having a hard time concentrating on things or finding humor in anything. I experienced all of these things going through my separation. It sucks. I eventually had to get on a mild anti-depressant to help me keep my sanity and find joy in life again. I found great joy with BJ and the Little Guy. I weaned myself off my medicine and have been pretty much fine ever since. It took a few months but I got there. Depression runs in my family. My mother was diagnosed with Manic-Depression when I was a kid. There is now a fancy new term for it...Bipolar disorder. My older brother (from my mother and her first husband) has been down the depression road. My sister (from my mother and her 3rd husband) suffers from Bipolar disorder. She was recently diagnosed but I've known for years that she should be on medication.

I'm scared that I'm headed down that path again. All the signs are there. I'm aware enough of my moods to realize when there is a problem. I don't want to feel like this. The Little Guy was at our house last night and I did everything I could (laundry, dishes, shower) to avoid hanging out with him because I didn't want to cry in front of him. He has a sore on his foot that was really bothering him and he needed nurturing and babying and I couldn't bring myself to do it. I don't think he noticed anything as he and BJ were watching TV and goofing around, but I knew exactly what I was doing. Holding him and caring for him would have been too much for me to bear. I love him so much and it kills me that he's not mine and that I have to share him with his real mother. All of my feelings toward step-parenting are for another post.

We are going away this weekend for some tame family time with the Little Guy. I'm not really that excited about it. If we had to cancel I wouldn't really care. We are signing a contract on our new house today. I'm not looking forward to it in the least. These are not normal feelings. These are not normal "sad" feelings. This is depression creeping back into my life. I don't like it but I feel helpless to stop it right now. I almost feel like I DESERVE to feel this bad. Like I'm not worthy enough to be happy. I know in my brain that none of that is true, but I am helpless to stop these feelings right now. I know there is a grieving process that I must go through. I'm going to give it a little time and see how I do. If I feel like I'm getting worse or not improving a little each passing day, then I think I will go back to my doctor and see if they can help me. BJ and the Little Guy do not need to deal with such a slug. They deserve a happy lady of the house. That is what I'm going to strive to be...I know I can do it, I just might need some help.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Confirmation and Other Happenings

My nurse called Friday and confirmed that there was nothing new to report from my negative pee stick. She apologized and asked what our plans were. I had nothing to say. She asked if I wanted to meet with Dr. M...if we wanted to talk to the financial coordinator about our options. I told her that I didn't think we would be continuing with their services and she apologized again and said that she wasn't trying to push us into anything. She said that if I needed anything or she could be of help to just give her a call. That was the end of the conversation.

I left work after that because I just couldn't concentrate on anything. I did a lot of crying. I called my dad and broke the news. He said an expletive and said he was sorry. I tried not to cry with him on the phone and I did an ok job, I must say. I got home just before BJ. It was nice. We laid on the couch and took a nap for about an hour or so. Well he did...I slept for maybe 15 minutes. But it was still nice to just lay there with him. He said he was sorry for everything and I just said "I know".

We went to his company bbq Saturday afternoon. It was hot as balls outside but the breeze coming off the Bay was fantastic. One of the contractors that BJ works with has a baby girl right around a year old. She was her little pink bathing suit and tan baby skin...she was a dream. I was never so glad to be wearing sunglasses. I teared up right away and almost excused myself from the conversation. I've never been sad to be around babies. I didn't like that feeling. We stayed for a while and then headed to a friend's house for another bbq that we were invited to. It's really a shame that I was in such a foul place because I passed up a SLEW of great food and I don't do that. I just didn't want to eat. I picked at some stuff but didn't get nearly the satisfaction that I normally do from food that other people prepare. I did some drinking and mingling and it was a good time. Although, every time I put the bottle of Smir.noff up to my mouth I couldn't help but think that I wasn't supposed to be drinking. I was supposed to be coming up with some excuse as to why I couldn't drink.

When we got home we sat down on the couch in our "sitting" room and talked for a while. I expressed my deep sadness and my inability to know how to live without the hope of a child. He said that he never thought the clinic would help. They only wanted our money. He said he'd give it another couple of years and then he was done. I told him we were done now because it wouldn't work on our own and he told me before that this was the last year and that now I will go on some kind of birth control. He again said no (and especially no to the pill for some reason) that we'd give it another couple of years and that we would have to time things better. I don't know where this came from. I also don't think I believe him. He has a slight "performance" issue when he knows I'm fertile. The natural trying that we have done has been difficult for me to time because I have to be sneaky about where I am in my cycle. I don't see that getting any better. I also don't see me going back to opk's, thermometers and charts. I just don't see any of it right now. I think I'm blinded by grief and loss. Maybe he was extra sentimental because he had enjoyed a few adult beverages, too. I don't know. I just don't know anything right now.

I went to the gym in my building this morning. Something I haven't done since I started stimming for my first IVF attempt. After my Pil.ates workout I laid on the mat with my face in my hands and cried. I was supposed to be doing Baby Yoga or something like that. I need time to heal and get over this before I even THINK about TTC naturally again. If I can't even be in the gym without crying over what "should have been", how do I expect to be able to dive in head first to a world that will suck the life out of me again? Not to mention the pressure and stress it will put on BJ and possibly our marriage? Like I said, I need time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

7 Minutes in Heaven

I've never played 7 minutes in know the game....when you're a tween you go into the closet and spend 7 minutes with a (gasp) BOY! Anyway, I never did that. I think I played spin the bottle once but I don't remember any great kisses coming from it so it must not have been that good of a game. Anyway....I was at the clinic for a full 7 minutes today. I was a little early for my appointment, signed in and sat down. The tech that usually does my follie checks walked by and gave me a big smile. I had to force a smile on my face. I was looking around at 3 couples and a woman by herself trying to figure out why each of them were in the clinic. One couple was called back right away...they were either having a swimmer analysis or an IUI because they had their little brown paper bag with them and they both went into the little room where you drop off such samples. As they were leaving, I said a little "good luck to you" in my head. I was called back. As the girl was sticking the needle in she said "well, good luck" and I moaned and said "no, I already tested. This is just a formality." She didn't say anything else to me. I didn't mean to be such a downer but the last place I wanted to be was in that chair today.

It should have been 7 minutes in Heaven. I should have seen 2 lines on Tuesday and been eagerly awaiting a great HCG number this afternoon. Instead, as I sat in traffic for an hour and 35 minutes to go 40 miles, I couldn't get my mind off of the fact that I know what the call is going to be this afternoon but I still don't want to hear the words. I thought of just not answering so that she could leave me a message, but then I'd have to actually LISTEN to the message to stop my phone from telling me I have a message waiting. Not a good idea either because I would probably torture myself and listen to it over and over again. I'll answer and she'll apologize and tell me to stop my meds (which I've already done) and call her on day 3. I won't be making that call but she doesn't need to know that. She might even want to schedule my WTF appointment with Dr. M. I'm not even sure I want to have one. I know WTF happened...I DIDN'T get pregnant. There's no need to try and figure out why since we won't be doing IVF again. Why put myself through that?

I took my last dose of the Endometrin yesterday morning trying to manipulate when my period starts. I'm hoping it will start Sunday or Monday. I've heard that post-IVF periods are terrible...from the heaviness to the cramping. We have 2 cook-outs to attend on Saturday so I didn't want to be running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. But hey, there is a bright side to all of this. I get to drink at the parties. I.can't.wait. And I hope you got my sarcasm. I'm sure you did because you are a very bright bunch.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Falling Into Place

I am currently living in the house that h1 (husband #1) and I bought 7 years ago. When we split I refinanced, gave him some money and put the house in my name. BJ and the Little Guy moved in with me. The house needed some updating to say the least. I have a basement that was only partially finished, needed new floors and paint all over the place, better appliances and all that jazz. Over the past 3 years BJ and I have done (and hired people to do) just about everything imaginable to make the house nice to sell. We don't want to live in the neighborhood we are in and we want to live closer to the Little Guy's school and shorten our commute. The house we are in now would have been difficult to have a baby in because the 3rd bedroom is downstairs in the basement. We finally put the house on the market at the beginning of May not knowing for sure how long it would sit there. Hoping that the house would sell and that we would be able to buy a house before I had a baby. The IVF was coming up fast and we had high hopes. Everything seemed to be falling into house, new was going to be great.

We got a contract on the house while we were in Atlantic City (go figure) and were thrilled! Things were REALLY falling into place now. We had looked at a couple houses just to get an idea of what we wanted but were leaning toward having a house built in a new development in a great location for us. We were a little stressed because we didn't expect the house to sell so fast and now we needed a place to live and fast. Our realtor actually has a rental property that she is going to rent to us while our house is being built. She knows the flexibility we need and she's fine with the cat. Things couldn't fall into place any better than that, right?

And then Tuesday morning happened.

The 4 bedroom house with the big backyard doesn't seem so appealing now. Every time I look at the floor plans and see bedroom number #4, right next to the Master, just begging to be a nursery, I get sick to my stomach. I should be pregnant. I should be sitting on the sidelines overseeing BJ and his friends carrying everything and doing ALL the heavy lifting. I should be planning where I want to put the crib and what the theme will be in bedroom #4. I should be envisioning the Little Guy and our toddler running around the back yard chasing a puppy or splashing around in the pool we will eventually get. I should be picking out a stroller to push around our newly constructed neighborhood. There should be pink or blue balloons on my new mailbox and a steady stream of visitors in our new driveway. Maybe I have asked for too much.

Things couldn't have fallen more out of place. I would like to think that we could save up money and try this IVF thing again. There isn't time. We gave ourselves a deadline of this year and there's not enough time to save that kind of money before the end of the year. I don't want my quest for a baby to be over but I'm not real sure of how to keep it going, either. My last shred of hope is that I tested too early and something will happen tomorrow to blow my mind. I need a magnifying glass to find that shred of hope but it's there none the less.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

12dp3dt - A Title Escapes Me

I'm so dull right now that I can't even think of a title for this post. I went to bed at 10:30 last night. I had a stomach ache from hell and had to get up to use the bathroom twice before midnight. I still didn't feel quite right. I laid in bed for what felt like forever and then I finally fell asleep. I woke up at 2:30 and was awake until about 4:15. Then I woke up at 4:35 when the Little Guy came to get BJ because he had a bad dream. I was then awake until about 5:20 when I dozed off until my alarm went off at 5:35. What a fun night. I was so tired yet I couldn't sleep at all. I felt so numb and so lonely even though BJ was laying right next to me. My cat kept me company for a while but even having her close didn't relax me enough to be able to fall asleep. The strange thing is that I'm not that tired today. I wonder if this is what they call Insomnia? The desire to sleep but the body not actually shutting down to do so. I hope it doesn't continue. I hope it's just a fleeting side effect of my extreme gloom yesterday.

When the Little Guy went to take his shower I sat on the couch and said to BJ, "I didn't want you day to start as crappy as mine did so I'm telling you now. I tested this morning and..." I didn't need to finish. I couldn't finish. I started crying and he told me he was sorry. He put his arm around me and let me cry. He said he didn't understand why since there is nothing that has been found to be wrong with us that this didn't work. I had no answer other than I must have a bad uterus. I didn't get to cry all my tears because it wasn't long before the Little Guy came bouncing in the room and BJ wanted me to be "cleaned up" as to not bring any questions on. We didn't talk about it after that and haven't said anything today about it. I told him I would tell my dad Friday after the confirmed blood test. I asked my nurse (via e-mail) if I could skip the beta but she responded that their policy is to test because they need a negative result to make sure I'm ready to start my next IVF cycle. I didn't have the guts or the will to respond that we aren't doing another cycle so I left it at that. I will go in and let them stick me one last time and then be done with them. Although, I'm sure Dr. M will want to have a WTF appointment.

BJ thought that maybe I tested too early and I told him that it was 2 weeks after retrieval so the test should be accurate and to torture myself even more, I dug the stupid pee stick out of the trash can last night just to be sure the magical and elusive 2nd line hadn't appeared. No such luck.

So I guess I'm better today. I don't feel much of anything right now. I'm sure that will pass and more grief will set in but I'm going to take this hour by hour until I figure it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

11dp3dt - Hope Has Passed

I tested...negative. It doesn't get any more negative. The white space where my 2nd line should have been was the brightest, purest white known to man. I was dreading testing. I took the test out of the box last night right before bed so that I would have no excuse but to use it this morning. And this is TMI, but when I started "going" it wasn't coming out straight. So here's me in the bathroom chasing my urine stream with this stupid pee stick that I didn't want to use in the first place. But I finally got it and I let it sit there...and sit there...and sit there. I gave it plenty of time. I even checked it after about 10 minutes...still only 1 line, still blank, still mocking me.

I couldn't bring myself to tell BJ. He still doesn't know. He's in a meeting and then he'll be driving for a while so I will send him a text message. I know that's dumb and childish but I can't bring myself to say the words just yet. He'll call me and I'll start crying. Not exactly my favorite thing to do at work. We had so much riding on this. And not that I think I'm any different than anyone else that has been through this, but I'm going to act like I'm the only one that has gone through this. It's not often that I'm selfish and self centered and I think this instance provides me the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time.

This was our last, best, only shot at having a baby. Adoption is out because of the time and money it takes. Even though there is a tax credit, you have to have a big chunk of money to pay a lawyer and legal fees. Plus, trying to get a healthy newborn is like dodging raindrops. We obviously can't do this on our own. There's something wrong with my eggs or my uterus.

I'm having a hard time picturing my life without the Hope of having a baby. I guess I will get over it in time as I get older. I really don't know. I hope that it doesn't destroy me inside. I don't want to be one of those bitter people that can't be happy for others. But right now I'm dying inside. All my dreams are gone. No nursery, no baby shower, no growing belly, no ultrasounds with beating hearts, no name picking (although I already have names), no maternity clothes, no Baby's 1st Christmas ornament....all of it gone. I know I'm being very negative and that a "natural" conception COULD happen, but I'm a realist. There hasn't been one in 8 or so years of trying so I'm not expecting one now. I feel like I'm mourning the death of a child. A child that will never be.

I'm sorry to be such a downer, but this is place to be whatever and whomever I choose and today I choose to be devastated and sad and furious and heartbroken and negative and just plain down in the dumps. I'm hoping it will pass. I'm hoping I can find the courage to tell BJ that our 2 perfect grade 1, 8-cell embies didn't survive in my body. Not sure I can bring myself to do it today. I may need to wallow in my own self pity for a day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

10dp3dt - Hope, Despair and Chocolate Cake

I have always found Bill Cosby to be one of the funniest men alive. My dad reminds me of him sometimes. He was quoted quite often in our house growing up. One of my favorite stand-up acts was his Bill Cosby - Himself show. Adults and children can both relate to this man and his humor style....good clean fun. This all came rushing back to me Friday night. BJ and the Little Guy went to the grocery store and I got the phone call report of what was purchased. The last item that was mentioned was a chocolate truffle cake. BJ said he didn't know what "chocolate truffles" were but that it sounded good. He is not much for cake. He rarely eats cake at birthday parties. As we sat around the table indulging in this most delectable treat after dinner (along with big glasses of milk) I asked him why he bought a cake since he doesn't really like cake. He just kind of shrugged and said..."you like chocolate". It reminded me of how thoughtful he can be sometimes. I'm not much on candy and regular sweets but I have been craving chocolate lately (this is a sign of PMS and hence why the word "despair" is in the title today). We don't keep chocolate in the house as BJ and the Little Guy are more into sour candy, lolly pops and things like that. As I was eating, there was a phrase that kept running through my head...."Dad is great!...Gives us the chocolate cake". And the vision of Bill Cosby sitting in a chair on stage pretending to be one of his kids eating chocolate cake. He was left to give the kids breakfast and they asked for cake. His reasoning is that it had milk and eggs in it so it was a fine breakfast. The kids starting singing and eating...until of course his wife found out. But the point is that BJ is great for getting me chocolate cake and how nice it is to have him remind me of such a fond childhood memory of watching that with my parents and laughing hysterically because I know my dad would have given me chocolate cake for breakfast, too.

My hope is dwindling to almost nothing this cycle, our final cycle, our final chance. I'm sinking into despair and I don't like it. I know a hpt would be very accurate but I'm too scared of a BFN. I feel like my period is minutes away as most of my "symptoms" are diminished to basically nothing. The lady lumps still hurt a little but that's a normal effect of progesterone and my period. I'm getting quick tempered and snippy...another period sign. I'm feeling weepy...I think that's the despair settling in. I have tried to stay positive this time because we had everything going for us and I was noticing changes in my body. Not so much anymore. Tomorrow will be 14dpER and I will probably test just to get it over with and get my mind around the BFN that will surely be staring me in the face. We were at a birthday party yesterday (one reason I didn't test over the weekend) and I knew there would be at least 3 babies/toddlers there and I could barely stand to look at the newest baby. Thankfully there were so many people there that it wasn't noticed that I didn't pay any attention to him. It's getting harder to see pg women and infants. I used to eat it up because I knew my time would come. Now I'm not so sure. BJ said he'd like to keep trying on our own if this doesn't work (until the end of the year) but I don't know if I can go through that again. Granted, December is not that far away but I don't want to give myself false hope anymore. Hope sucks these days. I guess we will play it by ear after this cycle. Sorry to be such a downer but this is me...all of me...the good the bad and the ugly.

Friday, July 17, 2009

7dp3dt - The Pee Stick Debate

So here I sit....10dpo(egg retrieval) and wondering if I dare pee on a stick this weekend. My IVF seems like a dream to me. As though it happened to someone else. It was here and gone before I knew it (even though it took a very long time to get to that point) and now I'm at a crossroads.

I've never been a pee stick addict. I've never had to be. My period always gave me good signs that it was on the the way. I'm also a spotter. I start spotting a day or two before the witch actually shows up. On the few occasions that I haven't started spotting, I have attempted to test. And by attempted, I mean I buy the test and when I go into the bathroom to use it, that is when she shows up. Either right before I pee on the stick or right after...on the toilet paper, laughing in my face at the wasted money and hope. Bitch.

But now, I don't know if I can pee on the stick that will change my life....either for good or really, really bad. If I don't see a second line, I will be crushed. This IVF was our only and last option. I obviously can't conceive on my own or with IUI's. I like the euphoric state I'm living in right now (see previous post about Hope) and I don't want it to end. But then I think of how wonderful it would be to see 2 lines. Those 2 lines that I've never seen before. The magical 2 lines that mean the WORLD. I know that today is too early to test...but I could test tomorrow or Sunday and I think I'd get an accurate reading...maybe.

Here's what I've been experiencing:

* 2.5dp3dt - started getting cramping on left side...sort of a pinch - this continued regularly until Tuesday afternoon
* Have felt some "twinges" on and off in the uterus area - both sides, sometimes feeling like period cramps, other times feeling like my ovaries
* Increased appetite off and on
* Very thirsty
* Woke up two nights (not last night) in a row to pee - not normal for me
* Tired and feeling worn out
* Moody - pretty early for PMS moods right now
* Lady lumps started getting tender yesterday - and it's very strange because my left one hurts more than my right one.

Mind you, all of this can pretty much be explained away with the progesterone and the estrace. THAT is what makes this so.damn.difficult. I have one FR test at home that stares at me every morning when I open the cabinet to get my Endometrin. I have contempt for that damn thing and I just want to use it to get it out of there. I just don't know what to do or when to do it. I have googled symptoms for my time frame. I have chosen to overlook the blogs and message board posts that report a BFN when experiencing my symptoms. I have decided only to read about the ones that ended with a BFP. That's productive, right? I don't know if I can make it without testing but I don't know if I want to test before Thursday.

Why do I have to be so wishy washy??? Why isn't there a clear cut answer for this? Why do I have to make everything so damned complicated??

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Look at the pretty fireworks!

I am going to rewind to the Fourth of July for today. I had so much going on in my cycle that weekend that I didn't really get to tell this little story.

We were invited over to a friend's for a cookout/crab feast and to watch the fireworks. We ran into some people that we haven't seen in a while and everyone was drinking...except me of course. I was stimming so there was no alcohol going in my system. We are chatting and eating and catching up blah blah blah. After the fireworks we had settled back in at the picnic table. BJ was sitting across from me. Next to me was Mrs. G and next to BJ was Mr. G. Next to Mrs. G was a very drunk female "friend" of ours that we have known a long time. Now that the stage is set:

Mr. G to BJ - so, when are you guys going to, you know? (gesturing having kids)
BJ - we aren't stopping it
Mr. G - what does that mean?
BJ - we aren't stopping it, and we hope it happens
Mr. G - what's up buddy?? (using a tone as if BJ is less of a MAN because he hasn't knocked me up)
Me - I'm defective! (said too loud, but I wasn't about to let BJ go through this alone)
Mrs. G - what do you mean?
Me - I'm defective somewhere, I just don't know where. No one has ever been able to find a problem. (I'm smiling at this point but getting very annoyed and having a hard time staying "nice")
Mrs. G - have you both been tested recently? are all your levels ok?
Me - yes, everything is fine with us. (she is a nurse so I expect her to be somewhat knowledgeable on the science of things)
Mrs. G - so it's just timing. (are you f-ing kidding me?? TIMING!)
Me - (taking a deep breath and choosing my words carefully and trying not to be bitchy) I have been at this a long time. I've read the books and done the research, it's not timing.
Mrs. G - Maybe you need to stop thinking about it. (AAAHHHHH!!!!! that's worse than telling me it's a TIMING issue!)

Then, BJ saves the day....he picked up a crab knocker/mallet and banged it down on the table 3 or 4 times. I said "order in the court" and he said "case closed" At this point the drunk "friend" said, "yeah, sometimes you just need to stop thinking about it..." We laughed and carried on some more and that was the end of it, thank goodness.

What is it with people that they think it's ok to keep prodding, especially when they have been told that you are having PROBLEMS TTC??? Would she have told a cancer patient that they needed to time their Chemo better? I know that is a drastic comparison and not really appropriate so I apologize for offending anyone, but come on! If you know someone is having a tough time and you haven't seen them in a long time and you don't know them all that well, what gives you the right to act like you know everything and the person that has been trying (through 2 marriages) to get pg doesn't know how to TIME SEX for the purpose of baby making??? Ack!

Infertility is one of the most trying and tiring things anyone can go through. We just want to be normal and have babies like the fertiles do. We don't want people insulting us, our effort or our knowledge.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 it, hate it

I have been doing some research today about the quality of my embryos. I was told that they were 8-cell, grade 1, perfect. Every mother (petri dish or not) loves to hear that her "babies" are perfect. I decided to put that to the test and see if I was just being biased when I looked at the picture.

I am addicted to a TTC message board and have been so since my first IUI. I go there at least 20 times a day to check on things. These ladies are all very special to me. They are struggling in many ways and always find the energy and courage to be everyone else's cheerleader. I decided to check out the IVF board to see what kinds of embryos were "growing" for other women. There were many that had less than 8 cells on day 3 and some of them were actually growing at different paces. I found this very interesting. I guess I'm more of an IVF virgin than I realized. After reading the posts I decided to visit Dr. Google.

While I must say that my embryos are "textbook" in their growth, I also read that many successful transfers have been made with less than perfect embryos. Ok, now what? This is why I hate Hope. Good Hope has been swelling inside me since I heard that they were perfect. Now Evil Hope wants to knock me down a notch to remind me that just because they may look perfect under a microscope, they still may not implant. Why? Why would they NOT implant? There are a myriad of reasons, of course, but Good Hope will not leave me alone. She sits there and whispers in my ear...."you have PERFECT embryos, you are going to get pg". Then over on the other shoulder is Evil Hope whispering, "why would this work for you? do you REALLY think you are going to be a success story? your IUI's were just about textbook too, and you didn't get pg so what makes you think you will this time?" Stupid, mean Hope.

So I sit here quietly in my own little Hope World trying to be positive but realistic at the same time. How is that supposed to work? I'm afraid to be too positive because the let down will be that much greater if I fail. However, why do I think I'll fail? Something good CAN happen to me and I need to believe that.

Hope may be stupid and mean, but she's all I've got right now.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In's and Out's of the 2ww

I am now officially in the 2ww. For any IF or even just a "regular" TTC'er the 2ww is always full of analyzing, obsessing, hoping, dreaming, dreading, fearing, researching, wondering and just about anything else you can throw in there. It is the time of a cycle that ANYTHING is truly possible. We start to think about baby names, how we'll tell friends and family, a creative way to tell the Husband, we rub our bellies and imagine how it will grow. Now, I've been at this a long time so a lot of that doesn't occur in my 2ww anymore, but it did for about the first year or so. And it's exhilarating. It's one of the best feelings that a woman can have....there COULD be a baby in there! Since I am an IF, the dread usually sets in towards the end of the 2ww. I start to feel things that I know are signs my period is coming. I get snappy and I realize that I'm PMS'ing which makes me even more snappy. I get gassy (I know I don't need to share such details but as you get to know me you will learn that I always share too many details) and I know that my period is coming. It sucks to know my body this well. I will never understand the women that go through life never knowing when their period will start or when it's late or any of that. I've been obsessed with knowing since well before TTC. I need to be prepared and carry a feminine product with me when the time gets close. Since TTC began I feel like I know my body pretty well. I will not be one of those people you see on the news holding a happy bundle that I didn't even KNOW I was carrying and ended up delivering at the local eatery.

And since I know my body so well, I usually know when we have timed things right or completely missed our window. Knowing that helps me control the other part of the 2ww....what to eat and drink. Once I know I've ovulated, there is no more alcohol (not that I'm a big drinker but I make SURE during this time), I'm careful to stay away from smokers and I try to limit my caffeine intake. Now, over the years this has gotten to be a habit and a burden. I sometimes feel like I should just live it up and indulge in everything that's bad for me because being "good" has gotten me nowhere. BJ tells me that if I start smoking crack I'll get pg in a jiffy! Hell yeah! Not so much in my plans but I hear it's a good weight loss program so maybe if this IVF thing doesn't work I'll consider it. Please know I am kidding...

So here I sit in yet another 2ww. This one will be a little shorter because I'm sure I will be POAS (peeing on a stick) before 7/24 which is when my beta is scheduled for. I also do not want to wait for that phone call from the clinic. We did that with my first IUI and it sucked major butt holes. The anxiety of waiting was more than I could take. I already knew the answer (see above about knowing my body) but it didn't make the phone call less agonizing. I'm thinking of testing on 7/23, if I can wait that long. July 21 will be 2 weeks since the retrieval and I think a test will be accurate at that time. However, as I explained above, the 2ww can be a most euphoric experience and I don't want it to end any sooner than it has to. Here comes the dread part. What if it didn't work? If I get a BFN in the morning will I be able to come to work and function or will I be a heap of crumbled hope on the bathroom floor for the rest of the day? Testing too early, like on 7/19, will increase the risk of a false positive due to the trigger shot. I'm in a pickle. But hey, I have just under 2 weeks to figure it out.

I've been feeling some twinges on my left side since Sunday night. Sunday night would be 2.5dp3dt (2.5 days past 3-day transfer). The twinges have continued through yesterday and I'm still getting them. My brain says that it's my left ovary just calming back down to it's usual state. The problem is that it doesn't feel like my ovary. It feels a little like a period cramp. My heart is hoping that it's at least one of my embies snuggling in as the timing fits perfectly. But how many people can actually"feel" implantation? I'm loosing it already.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am with child....sort of

The evening before my transfer I was a ball of nerves. We went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and I couldn't even finish my Chimichangas. That is unheard of for me. I love chicken Chimichangas! But I guess I had other things on my mind.

I got up early and got BJ and the little one out the door and started my 80 mile trek. I hardly hit any traffic, thank goodness for Summertime Friday traffic, so I got there about 8:40. I was starving and had to pee like there was no tomorrow. I brought a bottle and a half of water with me to drink once I arrived so that my bladder would be nice and full. I used the restroom and proceeded to eat one of the pop-tarts that I bought. As I sat in the lobby I drank down the 1/2 bottle of water. I decided to go upstairs and wait in the office. I was mystified by the fact that I didn't have to pee yet. With my nerves and active bladder I should have had to go by now. It was 9:05 when I decided I better down the other bottle of water as my appointment was set for 9:30. I still didn't have to go. All these thoughts were running through my head:

- you just HAD to pee when you got here, didn't you?
- how could you have messed this up? they need a FULL bladder to transfer
- what is wrong with you that you don't have to pee after all that water?
- why did you eat that pop-tart? you know it was going to soak up the water!

I was called back at 9:35 and sat in the room and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, I had to pee. I thought for sure I was going to go all over the table before the doctor came in. Transfer was set for 10:00, it was now 5 after...where is the doctor? Are the embies ok? Did they die and no one bothered to tell me? Have they forgotten that I'm in here? I have to pee, I have to pee, I have to pee!

I loved the doctor that came in to explain everything. She was great and friendly...not too clinical at all. I thought my bladder would pop when the speculum went in. She was impressed with my full bladder. :-) All that suffering was for a good cause. The transfer went smoothly and I even got a picture of my wonderful 8-cell embies. I also found out that the other mature egg fertilized, just abnormally. Apparently BJ's swimmers are determined because 2 of them got in there.

I was put on bed rest for 24 hours and told to take it easy for the next several days. I'm a very good patient so I vegged most of the weekend. Yesterday it just happened to be at a pool party so now I'm sporting a great tan!

My beta is scheduled for 7/24 but I will be POAS before then. I'm not much on waiting for that phone call. Did that with the first IUI and it was torturous. Here's to a quick 2ww!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

T Minus 23 hours and 45 minutes

My nurse just embies are doing great and they are right where they should be at 4 cells each.

I am scheduled for my transfer at 10:00. I need to arrive at 9:30 with a full bladder.

I'm on pins and needles right now. This is really happening. I'm going to have 2 embies transferred into my uterus. Amazing.

The clinic is an hour and 45-50 minutes away with no traffic. I'll be hitting rush hour. Lovely. I would walk through fire right now to get those embies in me so a little beltway traffic isn't going to scare me off.

I know that I still have almost 24 hours for something to go wrong, but I'm not going to think about that right now. Right now I'm going to focus on the good things and all the possibilities that tomorrow will bring.

You are Always on My Mind

I can't stop thinking about my 2 fertilized embies. I even had a dream about them. A good one. However, my mind won't stop filling with the nightmare that both of them will be gone by the time Friday gets here for my transfer.

There are many theories and opinions about when life actually begins. I'm one of the people that believes life begins at conception. Therefore, I have 2 "babies" waiting for me at the clinic. I know to many of you that sounds ridiculous. I can't help it. I've never known for sure that any of my eggs had fertilized. This is as close to motherhood as I have ever been and it's freaking me out. I'm sitting here waiting for my nurse to call me and schedule my transfer for tomorrow. However, in the back of my head all I can think of is that she's going to call me and tell me that they are gone. I don't know how I will handle that news. Probably not well.

I talked to my dad yesterday afternoon and he was just as excited to hear the news of our fert report. He told me that I need to be treated very delicately after the transfer. He also asked why they didn't put them back yesterday if they had fertilized. He called me at 7:30 this morning (6:30 his time) just to say hello and talk about a big dog he saw in his yard. I think he's just as antsy as me about the phone call today and he just wanted to touch base with me.

If she calls as early as she did yesterday I will hear from her in about an hour. I'm looking forward to it but I'm dreading it at the same time. Infertility sucks ass. I just want my babies. I want them inside me where they are safe and loved and cared for. I know that they may not implant and that is scary enough. But at least they will be with me and for a day or two or three I will be "technically" pregnant. I want that feeling. I need that feeling. I need to know that I'm doing everything in my power to help those two embies thrive and live and make it into the world. I hope the call goes well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I've Been Egg-Napped

For anyone that just needs the stats, I will go over those first. For anyone that likes to read stories about these procedures I will explain it all below in my long winded, TMI way. :-)

5 follicles
E2 of 1001 - Sunday
4 eggs retrieved
3 mature
2 fertilized
64 million swimmers pre-wash and 16 million post-wash

Now I wait...transfer (provided all is well) will most likely take place Friday.

Here's the story:

I was instructed to take my Zithromax before bedtime Monday night. I did that, had an ice cream sandwich and then took my prenatal about 1 hour later when I actually went to bed. It didn't take long for my stomach to start hurting. I wasn't sure if it was nerves, the Zithromax, the prenatal or all of the above. I wasn't sure if I wanted to poo or hurl. I decided to poo. I still felt bad and now I was getting severe cramps. I tried to go to sleep but it just wasn't happening. I decided that I needed to hurl and tried to talk myself out of it because I knew I wasn't supposed to be throwing up my Zithromax. I went to the bathroom downstairs because I didn't want to wake anyone up with my loud vomiting. I know, too descriptive but sometimes I have to lay it all out there. I didn't have to hurl after all but instead poo'd again. It was definitely diarrhea so of course I thought I had caught a bug and wouldn't be able to have my procedure Tuesday. I'm such a negative thinker these days. I jumped on the Internet and looked up the side effects of Zithromax. Sure enough....stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting or near was all there. I felt better, mentally anyway. I went to bed and finally got some sleep. My alarm clock cat woke me up at 6:00 on the dot. Obviously she didn't realize I wasn't late for work and that I had another hour to sleep. All the logistics got worked out and BJ and I were on our way at 8:30. Traffic was slow and so of course I just knew all the swimmers were dying a slow and painful death in their little cup. We got there with 20 minutes left before the swimmers supposedly croak after being "expelled". We were taken back less than 5 minutes after we checked in. I had left my Nintendo DS in the truck because I thought we'd be able to leave after we dropped the specimen off and then come back in a little while. Not so. I undressed and we waited for this person and that person to come in and talk to me and collect the swimmers and take my vitals and give us papers to sign. We sat there and listened to all the couples within earshot of us get their instructions and such. The lady next to me was making me sick. All she cared to talk about was when she could get back in the gym and what kind of work out was ok to do and on and on....I wanted to tape her mouth shut. After her procedure she was laughing and reading a book and STILL talking about going to the gym. BJ said that I would be fine afterward if she was that good and ready to go. Let me break in here with my wisdom teeth story:

I got my wisdom teeth out 3 years ago and was put under for the first time in my life. When I came to, BJ said that I woke up about 5 or 6 times telling the same story and asking the same questions. The nurse walked by the room and laughed and said that I was really taking my time clearing my head and that I was recovering much slower than most of the patients. So I don't know how he got it into his head that I'd be any better this time.

I got my IV and then about 40 minutes later took my last trip to the bathroom. They came to get me and lead BJ to where he was to wait and I turned around to give him a kiss and the anesthesiologist about ripped my IV out because he was walking so fast. The nerves were really setting in now and I was tearing up because I just wanted it to go well and maybe get an extra egg out of there. He said that I'd be fuzzy for a minute and then not remember anything. He was right. I remember them asking me my SSN and sticking a probe on my arm and my BP cuff and then trying to put my leg in the stirrup thingy and then I was out. I'm guessing that they had to do my other leg without me because I have this vision that I just fell over on the table. One reason I think that is because my left leg was hurting and stiff when I woke up. Anyway...I came to as they were wheeling me back into my curtained room and said they were going to get BJ from the waiting room. I was so groggy and my ovaries were hurting, especially my left one. They gave me a hot compress and took my vitals again and here came BJ. I was so glad to see him even though I could only have see him because I couldn't keep my eyes open all the way. I told her my pain was an 8 out of 10 and she gave me something in my IV. BJ went to get my Vicodin and while he was gone my pain went down and she made me get up and walk. What is wrong with this lady? I can't keep my eyes open and the room is spinning! The only reason I didn't fall flat on my face was because I was holding my IV pole. I laid back down and they told me I only had 4 eggs out of the 5 follicles. I teared up again and BJ told me to stop crying. Great support babe, thanks. I couldn't believe the lady next to me was talking about going to the gym when I probably couldn't even tell you what a gym was at that point. It's a good thing we went over my instructions and plans beforehand because there is no way I could have remembered/understood any of it afterward.

I was in and out on the way home and I ate a cookie in the truck and we stopped for lunch and then it was home to crash. It was about 3:30 by this point. We snuggled on the couch and slept until about 5:30. I was still worn out but felt better. I took some Tylenol when we got home because I didn't know how the Vicodin would affect me. I took a half pill before bed because the pain started up again. It felt like ovulation and period cramps magnified. Not terrible, but uncomfortable enough that I wanted it to go away.

This morning I still have some twinges especially in my left ovary but other than that I'm fine. Plus, I have 2 fertilized embryos! That's the best part of this whole thing. So please pray that they make it to Friday. The next round of prayers will be for implantation, but I don't want to get too far ahead of myself.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Very Busy Several Days

First, I want to start off with a big THANK YOU to Melissa at the Blogroll for adding me. I'm still trying to figure all this out and I can't even tell you how long it took me to get the link to the Stirrup Queen's to post on my blog. Whew!

Second, thank you to those of you who have left me comments in the past couple of days. I will figure out how to respond to you and will do my best to keep up on everything.

Third, doesn't it figure that as soon as I go out of town everything starts happening at lightning speed? I'm going to fill you in on the TTC stuff first and then if you are so inclined to get a glimpse into my hectic few days you can continue to read on...

I had my first follie check and blood draw on Wednesday and then we were heading out. I had 4 follies, 2 on each side measuring 12, 12, 10, 10. I was assured that I could skip a day of monitoring and come in on Saturday. I got a call from my nurse Wednesday afternoon just after lunch. My estrogen was a little high at 303 and Dr. M wanted me to come back TOMORROW and reduce my gonal-f to 225 only in the morning, nothing at night. I called her right back to say that it wasn't possible for me to come back as I was 4 hours away. She checked with Dr. M and they agreed that I could just do the reduced gonal-f and keep the menopur the same (150 at night) and come back Saturday morning. Needless to say I was on pins and needles and questioning my decision making. I would say things to myself like "what's wrong with you? of course you need to go back!" "no wonder you can't get pg, you are too selfish and are going against the doctors!" It was not a good time to be inside my head. Mind you, I was only stimming for 4 days at this point so things couldn't have gotten that out of hand, right?

Saturday morning I went in for my check. I had follies measuring 18, 16, 15, 15, and 14 (I think) and my estrogen jumped up to 905. I was given instructions to take my ganirelix and increase my menopur to 225 and come back in the morning. The extra menopur is supposed to keep my estrogen in check while the ganirelix is to hold off the 18 from getting too mature too fast. The u/s tech asked me if I always go this fast...I was only on CD8 for crying out loud. I told her that I'm an early ovulator and that I responded very well to Clomid and triggered a day earlier than anticipated so I wasn't really surprised by this. I went back yesterday morning and my follies had now grown to 22.7, 18.5, 21.6, 19.5 and 16.8. Holy cow! I have super growing follies in there that don't want to wait! I was given trigger instructions and I asked the nurse to draw a "target" on my backside to help BJ with his task of administering the HCG shot.

I got the call yesterday afternoon that my e2 level was 1001 so it is GO time! I had to get the trigger shot at 12:15am and my egg retrieval is set for Tuesday at 12:15pm. I was told to arrive by 10:45 with sample in hand. They told me to take a last "boost" of my menopur and ganirelix and I'm guessing that was to help my smaller follie mature even more. My head was spinning...we actually are going to get this done...a real chance at a baby. Then the panic of the shot took over. BJ and I watched the video online and he still wasn't convinced he could do it. We intended on going to bed and setting the alarm so we could get a little sleep. No such luck. It's like when you're a kid and you KNOW you have a big test the next day and you stay up late to make the morning stay away. It's crazy, I know but what can I say, that needle is really long. So we stayed up and watched TV. I say "watched" because I'm not sure we "heard" any of it. The time came for the mixing and BJ was in the bathroom with me while I mixed it and we went over everything again. I laid down on the bed and told him to let me know when it was coming. I barely felt a thing. The needle is long but thin and the solution didn't burn at all. It went without a hitch. I gave BJ a big kiss and I think he was pretty proud of himself. And I must say, I was very proud of him.

Of course we couldn't sleep after that. I think our adrenaline was pumping so much that we needed a lot of time to "come down" from the high. I had a slight headache when we went to bed and woke up to a full blown throbbing pain after about 4 1/2 hours of sleep. I called the clinic to ask if I could take some Tylenol to ease the pain and was told that it was ok. So now my head feels better which is always a good thing. The next thing to stress about is fertilization. We've never had a problem with BJ's swimmers so I'm sure they will be fine. I think our problem is that I have rotten eggs. I hope my eggs can be seduced by his swimmers tomorrow. I'll even light a candle and put some music on if it will help. I will try to update tomorrow afternoon but I'm not sure how together I will be. I'm pretty sensitive to anesthesia so don't hold your breath. :-)

As for all the other happenings I think I will write later as I really need to get some work done. Stay tuned and thanks for following along.