Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The hard part

I feel so naive.

I thought that the hard part was three years of trying to conceive with nothing to show for it except doctors' bills and the complete evaporation of any modesty I may have been born with. I thought that the hard part was the two week wait for a positive beta. I thought that the hard part was the week long wait between betas. I thought that the hard part was the following week of waiting for the first ultrasound scheduled for 5w6d.

But after an u/s that showed a properly placed gestational sac, a yolk sac, but no fetus or heartbeat, I realized that the hard parts just keep on coming.

The sac measured 5w2d, and the tech said it was "right on track" and too early for a heartbeat. My RE agreed and assured me that the fact that it was measuring 4 days behind was "nothing to worry about." Next ultrasound is next week. I'll be 7w2d.

"Nothing to worry about." Balls to that. Frantic googling has indeed proven that a +/- of 3-5 days at this stage seems fairly normal. But that's scant consolation when I check the message boards and read about all of these people who are as far along as I am and seeing heartbeats.

The real issue is that I walked into the clinic one smug bastard. I was convinced that I had an overachiever setting up house in my uterus--I was getting + HPTs at 10 dpo! How about that 37 hour doubling time between betas! Of COURSE I would see a heartbeat and a sac that was measuring at or ahead of gestation.

Shamefully, when we walked in and the tech cautioned us against expecting a heartbeat, I boasted about my early implanter and confidently informed her that I thought we would see something. She smiled indulgently and when the dildocam did it's magic, said with what I think was a certain amount of satisfaction, "Yep. Too early to see it."


So now I'm waiting. And it's hard.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's a numbers game

17dp3dt beta = 2,976. Now I'm holding my breath for the first ultrasound.

That little bugger of an embryo seems like a strong little guy.

So, what will we see at the first ultrasound? I will be 6 weeks 0 days---will there be a heartbeat? A sac? A pulsing neon sign that says "JUST KIDDING!" Who knows.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I shouldn't have doubted my lone little embryo

10dp3dt beta = 131.

I think this is good. But for the rest of the week I'll be wondering what my HCG is doing; I don't return for a follow-up until next week, or 17dp3dt. And if you think I haven't calculated what the level should be on that day, then you really need to stick around and get to know me better, because LORD can I obsess.

Symptoms so far: Incredibly sore bosoms and a crippling fear that this is all going to hell any day now.

It's the latter that's the harder symptom to deal with, really.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beta day

Still testing positive on HPTs. Like, on 15 of them. Yes, I've done 15 HPTs since Saturday. I keep thinking that I'll wake up and get a negative and it will be all over. But so far lines have just gotten darker and results have popped up faster. Truth be told, I'm feeling a little smug about all of the those positive tests. I may or may not have them all lined up in the bathroom vanity--like little pee covered trophies.

Waiting for beta results now, and my stomach is twisted in knots. What is a good number? I don't even know. Over 50? Over 100? Over 500?

And to spice up the situation a bit, I leave tomorrow for a business trip to Chicago, and from there go to Ohio to spend Easter with the in-laws. There are a number of reasons that this trip sucks, not the least of which is the in-law visit. But if the results are good today, then I won't be able to do a follow up beta until next Tuesday. Which is a long time to wait to see if levels are doubling. Also, although I know there is no medical reason not to fly, I am still irrationally scared that I'm going to do something stupid to shoot this all to hell. I really just want to lie on the couch for the next 12 weeks and gestate.

Unfortunately, I still have a job and I still have a life.

But right now I'm just waiting for that phone call.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


First Response Early Result: Positive
Aimstick: Positive
Clear Blue Digital: Positive

I think I'm pregnant.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A unicorn told me to write this post

Cynicism is a badge of honor here in the ranks of infertility. Not being able to get pregnant seems to knock the positive right out of you. The exception, of course, are the newbies who obsess about progesterone-induced symptoms during the two week wait. They are full of optimism, baby dust, and candy-colored dreams for their "embies." They don't vacuum during the two week wait, and they probably did a week of bedrest after transfer. They're the ones who exhort you to "Stay positive!"

These people always, always get pregnant after their first IVF. They also misuse ellipses. I'm not sure what the correlation is there, but I'm convinced that one exists.

In the meantime, the rest of us soldier on. We go back to work after transfer. We stop telling friends and families about treatments, because their disappointment at the inevitable bad news starts to feel harder to bear than our own. We drink wine during stims. We keep looking for the next protocol, the next treatment. Our armor of bitterness and negativity protects us from the chemical pregnancies and the negative betas and our friends who have surprise pregnancies. We don't allow ourselves to hope, because hoping hurts too much.

But secretly? I want the candy-colored dreams. I want to clutch a positive HPT in my sweaty little hand and wave it victoriously in front of my husband's face. I want to calculate due dates and think about moving around work commitments and consider baby names. I want hope.

So when three different home pregnancy tests gave me faint positives today on 7dp3dt, I felt a splinter of that hope--sharp and painful like something foreign lodged in my heel. It's there, I can feel it, but I can't get at the damn thing with my tweezers. It's in there good. And throughout the day it becomes more deeply embedded under my skin until I'm afraid to look at it because taking that fucker out is going to HURT. So I let it be.

I let it be.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gotta stop sobbing now

God. On the subway this morning I was standing in front of a poster for the Boston Police Department. Pictured was an officer and his dog--part of the K-9 unit. This naturally led me to ponder the nature of police dogs, and then, not so naturally, about those that have fallen in the line of duty. And then I started to cry. For real. I'm insane.

But it's not just the idea of dead dogs that are setting me off. I need to stay off the message boards, too. Every time I read about someone else's success I tear up. In happiness? No. Because I'm feeling sorry for myself and wondering why it can't be me. I know it's the progesterone, but the crushing despair I'm feeling today is overwhelming. There's no way it worked. Despite the bounty of eggs retrieved at ER, I do think this was my worst cycle yet. One embryo? Out of nine eggs? It's shameful.

I'm seriously considering going to straight to the Famous Clinic in NYC for the next cycle. This shit is wearing me down.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

3dp3dt, or what I bought to distract myself from this interminable wait

Retail therapy. It won't actually get me pregnant, but at least I'll look good all barren and bitchy.

Today I bought a new laptop bag to carry my substitute baby, and some new black flats since my old ones are looking a little worse for wear. I need both for my business trip to Chicago next week. The one that's a day after my beta. Did I mention that I'm going straight to the in-laws after the meeting? This could be trouble. These are the same in-laws who helpfully sent us article on snowflake babies and how this could be the answer for us. Oh, trouble, indeed.

Also, I received my Internet cheapie HPTs in the mail yesterday. Helpfully included in the package was a little baggy labeled "Baby Dust." In it was glitter, shiny confetti, and little pink and blue "baby" words. I sprinkled it on my shoe collection, because it would be just awesome if it would go forth and multiply.

In other news, this progesterone is making me miserable. I upped my dose of Crinone to two per day (whatever, I'm convinced that I have low progesterone and it can't hurt, right) and it's playing all kinds of havoc with my body. Benefiber is my new favorite thing. Also sleeping.

Supposedly this is when my lone embryo-that-could will implant, if it's going to. Well, my nine-celled little friend, please consider this a formal invitation to make yourself at home. My body is a nice place to hang, I promise. Lots of lounging around, all the sci fi television you can stand, and have I mentioned the ice cream? Oh, lots of ice cream. And pizza, if you're lucky.

Please stay.

Monday, March 26, 2007


You would think that after two unsuccessful IVFs, a handful of IUIs, and a round or two of Clomid, that I would not lose my shit during the two week wait of this, my third IVF cycle. You would think wrong.

I thought for sure that my first IVF would work. Sure, I only got three measly eggs, and only had two embryos to transfer. But those two embryos looked very nice, and I had no idea what the diagnosis "poor responder" meant. I sailed through stims and the two week wait. I drank wine with dinner. I had coffee every morning. I exercised throughout. I laughed at the idea of bedrest. And when I started spotting 9dp3dt, I smiled smugly and thought, "Ah ha! Implantation spotting! I think blue would be a nice color for nursery." Then the spotting turned into bleeding, the beta was negative, and that smug smile was effectively wiped from my face.

I was more cautious during my second cycle. I switched from coffee to tea after transfer, and I limited alcohol to a glass with dinner on the weekends only. Instead of running 20 miles a week, I only walked or used the elliptical until beta. Still only retrieved three eggs and put back two nice looking embryos. When I got the faintest of positives on 8dp3dt, I allowed myself to hope. Then the spotting started the next day, so did the negative HPTs. My beta was an absurd 8.

So what have I learned? Not much. Now that I am officially a poor responder, one lesson is that my eggs are almost certainly crap. This was driven home on Saturday, when I transferred one embryo. It was the only one of the four fertilized that made it to day 3. Even though I produced 9 (NINE!) eggs on the estrogen priming protocol, it's obvious that my eggs, they are a mess. But still, my one embryo is nine cells and labeled as HIP (High Implantation Potential). We'll see about that. And what am I doing differently in this 2ww?

1) Continuing to take Fish Oil
2) 800 of Folic Acid (up from 400 last cycle)
3) Two doses of Crinone daily (up from one last cycle)
4) Wine will have to wait until after beta, if negative
5) Two days of rest after transfer
6) No gym until after beta
7) Baby aspirin daily
8) As much Ben & Jerry's as I can eat

I have a lot of faith in number 8, especially. If Ben & Jerry can't get me pregnant, then I don't know who can.

I also ordered a bunch of Internet cheapie HPTs, as my whiff of a second line last cycle induced some kind of POAS madness and I ended up spending close to $150 on home pregnancy tests in an effort to compare brands and see a clearer positive.

As for symptoms so far: all of the normal, progesterone induced stuff. Plus an insane amount of obsession. I think that specific symptom is pretty much induced by my own fevered brain.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rode Hard, Meet Put Away Wet

Things to which I respond poorly: The first list of what will be, I fear, many

  1. Fertility drugs
  2. Negative betas
  3. People with huge packpacks. On the subway. During rush hour.
  4. Self-imposed bedrest for a cycle that is doomed to failure
  5. Being told on transfer day that of your four embryos, only 1 made it
  6. Grey's Anatomy (SERIOUSLY. Izzy/George = Rage Blackout)
  7. The siren song of Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. If by "poorly" you mean "eating the entire pint"