Tuesday, September 20, 2011

FET Time

I talked to the RE today over the phone about the next steps. Our conversation was kind of weird at first; I was on his speakerphone and I could hear him typing as he talked to me, and when he talked to me it was all stilted like he was thinking about something else. Then he abruptly had to hang up because he got an emergency page.

Five minutes later he called back and everything was much better - he was paying attention to what he was saying and he made more sense. He apologized for the IVF failure; he said he was very surprised based on how well the rest of the cycle went, and he was very optimistic for this FET. Then he had a lot of questions: do I want to take only estrogen pills or estrogen pills and Lupron? (5% of patients who take only estrogen ovulate, which means the FET must be canceled, but Lupron is an extra $600 and he doesn't usually recommend it. That was cool with me - only taking a pill and not having to make C poke me with Lupron needles - yay!) Do I want to thaw more if one of the two embryos they thaw die? (Yes!) If the second vial containing two embryos is thawed and both live, do I want him to transfer all three embryos? (Yes, if I have a better chance of success.) He told me to call with my next cycle (he likes to give patients a cycle between to kind of calm down, organ-wise) and we would get going again.

It ended up being a relatively quick phone call, but it was nice to feel like we're picking up and moving on. I'm still not sure exactly what I think about transferring three, even though part of me is still not optimistic about this second chance. I would hate to be thrown from the position of not-being-able-to-get-pregnant to the position of being-pregnant-with-too-many and having to decide what to do about it. But I also don't want to waste embryos, especially if that third popsicle was the one that was going to make me a mama.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On the Mend

I feel leaps and bounds better now. I think I scared some family members when they read my last couple of posts, and I guess I can see why - I was so optimistic, and so happy, and then when I crashed I crashed hard. Sorry about that.

I feel so lucky - I have such a great support system, and I'm so lucky. C and I have both gotten telephone calls and encouraging emails. My aunt called last night (we don't talk very often, so it was nice to hear from her) and she helped so much. And time helps too. Today I spent time with my grandma and I talked about future children again as if I was back in July, with hopefulness and happiness for the future. I allowed myself a few days to be bitter and unhappy and angry at the world, but I feel like I've officially picked myself back up to try again. Although this time I'm treading a little heavier; I feel like I'm not bursting in on this cycle singing and throwing flowers. I'm more tiptoeing and looking around suspiciously. But at least I'm moving forward.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Babymaking: Nailed It

Two days.

Physically, everything is back to normal - my period arrived yesterday as if nothing has been happening the past six weeks, Sharpie rectangles on my backside which showed C where to stab me with progesterone needles are faded to almost nothing, the mark on my arm where the pregnancy test blood was taken is healing, my belly is back to its normal size.

Emotionally, I feel like the physical normalcy is nyah, nyah-ing at me. I superstitiously kept my Diva cup out during the 6 weeks of IVF, "just in case," even though I was sure I should just put it away for a year. Using it yesterday was sad. I don't feel like I'm grieving the way that I did the first day, but I still feel lonely, defeated, frustrated, and bitter. I wonder about the other lady who had a transfer on the same day as me. Did she get good news?

The people around me are mostly supportive. My coworker who'd gotten pregnant accidentally and took weeks before she could announce her pregnancy to anyone without crying - she hasn't said anything to me, even though I know the news spread like wildfire after we left work in a teary rush. I texted my sister yesterday and said "did you see that I wrote on Facebook that the test was negative?" and she replied "yes. I just didn't really know what to say." That was kind of hurtful. Most everyone else has been nice. I know it's hard and awkward to have to interact with someone who's hurting. I feel that way myself. So my rational brain forgives and forgets, but my lonely, defeated, frustrated and bitter brain wants to slap them. Even though I know that's wrong.

We have a follow-up telephone appointment with the doctor on Tuesday. I'm going to tell him I want to do the frozen transfer right away. And really, the only reason I want to do it is that our financial package is for a fresh and a frozen cycle, and I want to get my money's worth. I'm not doing it because I think it's going to work. All of the optimism I had during IVF is completely gone; now I just want to get the FET over with.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


They were supposed to call me after 1:30. They didn't call me until 3. As the time ticked on I knew what my quiet phone meant. When it finally rang C and I dashed into the hallway to hide from coworkers.

"I'm so sorry I don't have better news..."

C got my purse and we left without a word. Home now, in bed, trying to think happy thoughts. I get to have a beer at Oktoberfest this weekend! I get to stop being poked in the rear with needles! I get to try this again (with frozen embryos) one more time before we have to take a 3-year break to pay off the IVF loan before we can try a third time!

But really I'm thinking mostly things like I don't know what went wrong and I feel broken and like I'm not meant to have kids; that I should stop trying because it won't work a second time if it didn't work the first time. That I have to have done something terrible in a past life and now I'm destined to be punished by having to watch everyone around me get pregnant accidentally and easily, and then ask if I want to hold their babies with my barren little arms.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've been coping so well during the big Two Week Wait. Last week I was easily able to push it out of my head because it was too far in the future for me to think too much about, and I had to prepare for the renaissance faire. Then this weekend (plus Friday) I was running non-stop from gig to gig at the faire, in the 95+ degree weather, sweating through my corset. I got home Sunday night and took a shower (post-faire showers are the BEST) and got all the dirt and sweat off of me, and got into bed and realized test day was three days away and had a good cry. Of course, most of the cry was from being exhausted, but it was the beginning of the nervousness that I knew would pervade the rest of the Wait.

Yesterday and today were better; I was busy at work and was able to keep my mind off of it for the most part. And now tonight, I don't want to go to bed.

Tomorrow morning the lab opens at 7:30 and I'll be there waiting at the door. (I don't have to go all the way to the fertility clinic, thank goodness, I can just do the test in town.) Then they have to fax my clinic the results and then my clinic will call me at some point during the afternoon, after 1:30, with the results. (Yay for at least six hours of pins and needles!)

I have a good feeling about this, but I'm trying so hard not to get my hopes up. Everybody else says they're sure it'll be positive, because what else are you supposed to say to an IVF patient who's on the verge of finding out whether it worked. And I know that no matter how well I keep my feelings in check before the call, if the answer is no I'll have the same reaction.

Here's to a quick Wednesday, whatever the outcome. I'm ready for this chapter to be over.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seven More Days

I told myself I wouldn't think about it, but I am. Of course. Do they like it in there? Are they happy? And why can't I feel it yet? In my head I know that's so silly, that the progesterone isn't giving me sore breasts and so the lack of sore breasts doesn't mean anything. I'm keeping myself busy with work, and this weekend with the faire, and the time will fly by; but of course down in the depths I'm wondering if they've found a nice little cozy spot to hang on and grow. Grow, little guys, grow!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Here is a photo of the ultrasound at the moment of transfer. If you click through to Flickr and hover over that photo you'll see notes that kind of help explain things, but the black mass on the top and down the right side is my giant unhappy bladder, and the bulbous thing on the lower half is the uterus with the cervix off to the right. In the center of the uterus is a horizontal line: that's the catheter as it's transferring the embryos. The Transfer

Cryo Report

The embryologist called and left a message: yesterday after the transfer he froze two embryos, and today he froze four more. So there are 6 little embryo popsicles waiting for us if we have any issues with the two who are hopefully busy cuddling up to my uterine lining, or waiting for some other couples who haven't gotten any uterine cuddling yet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Transfer Day!

Today was transfer day! After a nearly painless PIO shot last night, I was happy and ready to go at 7:45am. I filled up my water bottle with 20 ounces of water, and after a stop at the rest stop promptly at 9 I chugged the water and was ready to to by 9:30. The embryologist came and talked to us about how the embryos were looking great, and we would definitely have some to freeze.

At 9:45 the nurse had gotten me into a (super cold) room, and she did a quick ultrasound on my lower belly. "I can't even see your bladder! I'll go get you some more water and give you fifteen minutes." She came back with two 12-ounce cups and left me to it.

At about 10:10, the nurse came back and did another quick ultrasound. "That looks better, but not good enough. I'll go get you some more water and give you fifteen minutes." She came back with two more 12-ounce cups.

As I was drinking that water, the doctor came in and chatted about how many embryos we wanted to transfer. I told her about how after the retrieval that doctor had mentioned maybe only transferring one due to my OHSS risk, but that I'd been weighing and measuring myself and everything looked good and I felt fine. So two it was.

At about 10:30 the ultrasound finally looked good, but now the doctor was seeing to another patient because it was taking me so long. So she left me to lie on the table for awhile until she could round up the doctor and the embryologist.

Finally as my full bladder started to get hard to bear, in came everyone. The ultrasound was pushed hard into my lower belly, and the doctor put in the speculum and then the catheter. When it looked like she was in the right place the embryologist came in and handed the doctor the embryos, and she transferred them in. I wanted to watch and enjoy it, but I had to dig my fingernails into my other finger pads, I had to pee so badly. But I was holding on for when they were done, when I could pee and then lie flat for half an hour.

Except then they said that I had to lie flat FIRST and then they'd let me pee.

They all left and I was surprised by happy tears; it was so nice to finally get to this point!!

I lasted about 8 minutes with the urge to pee completely killing me, and then C went out and asked the nurse if there was anything they could do. She came in and grabbed a bedpan from the cabinet and let me do my thing in there. It was a really weird feeling, lying on my back to pee. But once that was done I was able to actually focus on relaxing and making my uterus look extra pretty for my new tenants. Please move in, new tenants!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

PIO Update

Last night we attempted the second progesterone in oil shot. And it went swimmingly! I warmed up the dose and iced myself well, and C was great - it barely hurt at all!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 3 & Day 1

Yesterday afternoon the nurse called to tentatively schedule a Friday (Day 3) transfer. She didn't really have any news about the zygotes, but she said the embryologist would call Friday morning to let us know whether we should hold off until Sunday (meaning the zygotes were doing well enough that they didn't have to immediately be transferred back into my uterus). I reminded her that we had to drive an hour and a half to get there, and so the embryologist should call as early as possible, but our launch time this morning came and we hopped in the car and figured we'd wait for a phone call en route.

When we had been driving for almost half an hour the nurse called again, and said that she'd looked at the embryologist's report and the zygotes are doing really well! So she scheduled the transfer for Sunday at 10. It's a quick procedure, and then I lie down immediately afterward for half an hour, and then I spend the rest of the day on the couch. Unfortunately, I have a choir rehearsal - last one before the upcoming renaissance faire - and I was hoping I wouldn't miss it. So everyone else is deciding whether they want to come up here to rehearse or if I'll just miss it.

Yesterday was day 1 of my progesterone shots. I had been dreading it all day long, and in the evening beforehand I'd all but forgotten about it but this lingering sense of dread was hanging around and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. Oh yeah.

I warmed up the dose between my thighs for awhile, and then paced around icing the spot, and had a hard time settling down to drape myself over the counter so C could do the deed. He even hesitated a few seconds after he said he was ready, and when he finally did it I jumped. Once it was in it wasn't so bad, and I feel better about doing it today, but it didn't stop me from crying last night after it was over, mostly from the anticipation and nervousness leaving. Also, I haven't cried much at all during this whole process so I guess it was time.