Monday, September 21, 2009

It's over

So yeah, negative beta today.

I waited forever to get my call and was flipping out. I knew what the result was, but needed to KNOW, ya know? Sigh.

I had one meeting today - one - from 2:30 to 3:30. I usually get called well before 1 with a beta, and by 2pm I was still sitting there, at my desk, waiting for the stinking phone to ring.

I was starving, my blood sugar was crashing, and I couldn't leave my desk in case I missed the call. I finally had to email a colleague and ask him to heat up my lunch for me so I could eat. At my desk.

He finally replied, helped me out, and I could then stuff the roast chicken and potatoes into my gullet. At which point the person I was meeting with showed up - 15 minutes early.

She wandered off to chat with someone else while I continued to suck back the protein. Finally the phone rang at about 2:25 and I got the news I knew was coming, but dreaded anyway.

Negative. Follow up/review appointment booked for October 5.


There's so much going through my head right now, but I don't have the strength to put it all out on to the page today. Maybe sometime soon.

Thanks to all for following along and for the good wishes on the way. It's much appreciated.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

From hope to this

The two week wait sucks. No matter how you slice it, two weeks is a long time. Especially when you've been used to getting your information on a daily basis - all of the sudden you get to transfer and you're cast adrift with no appointments, no phone calls, no nothing for two.whole.weeks.

Well, unless you're me. Then you get your progesterone tested seven days post transfer, but still. Even a week's a long time.

That first week is something like sweet bliss. You actually revel in being able to sleep in that little bit longer because there are no appointments. You don't jump like a crazy person every time the phone rings because you're not waiting for those daily results. And you float along on a bubble of hope that this time, yes this time, things might just work.

You are safe and secure in that bubble because you can't test during that time - it's really too early, and any result you get is likely still the trigger shot. So you bobble along, dreaming of baby showers and what the nursery will look smile at other pregnant women, thinking you'll soon be joining the ranks of the swollen bellied, and everything is just plain good.

Then week two hits.

All of the sudden, it's okay to think about testing. You madly scan all the posts you can find on every message board you've become a member of, looking for stories of who peed when and got what result. And as the days go by and you realize that you're past the point of where so many others got their BFP if they got one at all, you start to panic.

It is this panic that lead me to pee on a stick last night. And this morning. And it's the results of those tests - both negative - that have sent me on an emotional downward spiral today.

Everyone keeps telling me it's still early. That there's still lots of time. That I'm not out, that there's still a chance. And yes, they're technically correct. But I can't get the feeling that if it had worked something would have shown up by now out of my head.

I think of all the symptoms I had the one time I actually was pregnant. The food aversion, the intense sleepiness, the round ligament pain. I haven't had any of it - ANY - this time around. People will again tell me that no two pregnancies are the same and you won't necessarily have the same symptoms. But even one would be reassuring - and I have none.

And I noticed today my boobs don't hurt anymore. Given how sore they've been in the past, that can't be a good thing. It just can't.

With my last pregnancy, my First Response test picked up my hCG when it was only 7. Seven! Yes, they're super sensitive, which only reaffirms my thoughts that if something was actually happening, it would show up. It just would.

And it hasn't.

I'm so sad, I just can't stop crying. I'm sitting at my desk at work and I'm a mess. My boss has been great - keeping people out and just giving me my space, but I can't stop. I feel like I'm in a fishbowl and everyone who passes by looks inside to see what's going on because my door is closed. That never happens around here, so people feel the need to look. And so I get all of these sad looks and platitudes - all very well meant, this I know for sure - and I just want to crawl into a hole and shut out the world.

And to add insult to injury, I'm surrounded by pregnant women. I work in the same building as Mt Sinai's OB/GYN department, so there are bellies everywhere. I had two of them in my elevator coming up to work today. I had to bite the inside of my cheeks to keep from bawling on the spot. I barely made it to the safety of my office before the tears started flowing. And I just can't get them to stop, an hour and a half later.

I have no idea why I even allowed myself to hope that this time might have been it. Shouldn't I know better by now? Hasn't almost five years of negatives and tears taught me nothing? Deep down I've always felt like I'm destined to be that person that things just never work out for. And it's increasingly looking like I was right.

Don't get me wrong - I'll be the first to admit that my behaviour has been idiotic should, for whatever reason, things turn out more positively in the end. But from where I sit, I just can't see it happening.

I have no idea where to go or what to do after this if Monday's beta is indeed negative. We're out of options. Out of money. At the end of the road. We have two embryos left from our earlier cycle, but there the bottom of that cycle's barrel, and we know that our embryos don't thaw well - or take, for that matter. So unless we win the lottery, we may very well be at the end of this long and sad journey.

And that breaks my heart. Just when I thought it couldn't break anymore.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home sweet home

Both for me, and our adorable, in-fantastic-shape embies.

That's right, as of about 10:20 this morning, three, count em three, embryos found their way home to my uterus where they belong.

It was kind of bittersweet to have to do a day three transfer, but the relief of just having them back in the habitat they desire was immense. I don't think I would have been able to function waiting to see if they made it to day five, so I sucked it up, accepted it, and embraced the new plan.

Transfer time was scheduled for 10am so by 8:20, we were on the road. We'd done the progesterone shot and put in the estrace, I put on my comfy pants, and we were off. Since I was able to eat this time and didn't want my blood sugar to peak or crash, we stopped at McD's and I had an egg mcmuffin. Not too many carbs and lots of protein - just what I needed. And a decaf coffee and bottle of water, to try to get that bladder of mine full. The joy of transfer day - the only real pain is from having a full freakin bladder!

The ride in was delightfully uneventful, so we were there 20 minutes ahead of time. Found a spot in a cheap lot, and were sitting in the chairs at LifeQuest by 9:20.

Eventually I was called in and we did the whole double gown thing. I slapped on my pink socks and in we went.

The ultrasound tech did a check to ensure my bladder was full enough (I was worried it wasn't!) and it was actually OVER full. I can't really feel too much of anything other than general fullness down there anyway - still sore from retrieval and the resulting gas that just hasn't gone away. So the u/s tech has me slip out of the room, pee a cup's worth of liquid, and we were back.

Dr. H finally joined us and said it was a good news day. All three were still going strong, all grade two, and two were 7 cell while the other was 8. Exactly what we wanted them to be by this time. We asked if we should be transferring three and his response was absolutely yes, but if we didn't want to we could come back on day 5 and wait to see what we had then.

Needless to say, we jumped at the chance to do three today.

He later told us that it's exceedingly rare for triplets to result from three transferred on day three (lots of threes there) so not to be too worried. Hubs breathed a small sigh of relief. Small. But we went with it.

The rest of transfer was pretty uneventful. The actual transfer itself was quick and thankfully they managed to find the 'sweet spot' relatively quickly, so that was a bonus. Previous transfers hadn't gone so well - we were in there forever, my legs got twisted into weird positions, and I ended up with mega leg cramps. This time - nothing. Simple. Easy peasy.

After transfer Dr. H told us that he's really quite hopeful that these embryos will result in a real pregnancy. I don't remember him saying that after our frozen cycle, but do remember something to that effect after our first fresh. Back then, he was right - it did take, but alas, it was either not viable on its own or the progesterone issue made it so. So I'm hoping that this time, he's right again.

We talked about it all coming down to whether or not my body wanted to accept the little guys and actually hold on to a pregnancy. I reminded him that even though the last one wasn't viable it was a tenacious bastard because it held on for so long, so hopefully we've got another batch of fighters this round - just better quality fighters. Fingers crossed.

You already know I'm kinda superstitious, so part of our post retrieval plan has always included going for a fry up after transfer. I read somewhere that it helps with implantation...hahahaha...I'll do whatever it takes! So Hubs and I headed to Denny's and I had my scrambled eggs, etc. I won't eat again for the rest of the day!

We finally stumbled back home around noon and I've been lazing around ever since. Still feeling crampy and bloated, so today's been all about watching movies and taking it easy. I even had an hour long nap not too long ago. I figure I don't have to worry about messing up my sleep schedule tonight since I'm off for the rest of this week. The progesterone has always knocked me out, so I'm expecting this round to be no different.

So there you have it! Now it's all over but the waiting. I'm in for a progesterone test in a week, then the beta the week after. I know I'll be testing mid next week - can't wait for beta, no way! - but until then, I'm going to enjoy the possibilities that currently, finally, exist and revel in the lack of waiting-for-daily-phone-call stress that is now my life. That was killer!

Now to over analyze ever twinge, cramp, symptom!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Still hangin' on...

Got our call today and it seems our three embryos are thus far hanging on for dear life.

At this point they're supposed to be 3-4 cells and that's exactly what two of them are. One is five cells or more - so a bit advanced. I'm thinking that's not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, it's just a bit advanced. As long as it doesn't continue to grow at some weird rate, we should be okay.

So now, instead of waiting for a day five transfer as we've done in the past, we're doing a day three. None of us want to take any chances that by day five, nothing will remain, so day three it is!

Transfer is at 10am tomorrow, so we need to be there by 9:30. They'll do a quick ultrasound to ensure my bladder is full enough - the joy of transfer is that you need a full bladder - then we'll be off to the races.

The only wild card at this point is how many we'll end up transferring. Hubs had always said he'd never do three, but given everything else, if three is what's recommend, that's what we'll do.

Guess only time will tell.

In the meantime, we're currently in a bit of a scramble. Generally speaking, the clinic gives you antibiotics to take on the day before transfer. Four pink pills to ensure all is well in the uterus before you actually make the transfer.

Well, we picked our stuff up on Friday and were told the antibiotics were in the bag. Guess what? No antibiotics. Fuck! So now I'm spending my afternoon chasing down the clinic, trying to get them to call a prescription into my local Shoppers so I can actually get the danged drugs in my system before tomorrow rolls around.


Other than that, I'm in a much better head space today than I was yesterday. Still hurting a bit from the ER - the gas pressure alone is insane! - but I'm a bit more hopeful. And I'm not sleeping all day. Figure those are all good signs.

Except for the gas, that is.

UPDATE: got the antibiotics! Emailed Dr. H, he copied my fab nurse, and she called it in for me on her day off. Then the pharmacy called me to say they were ready, and Hubs picked them up. They are currently in my belly. Crisis averted. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

And then there were three

Seven eggs retrieved, seven eggs mature.

And only three fertilized.

Once again, I'm crushed.

I've spent the entire day in disbelief, either bawling my face off or sleeping. I can't get enough sleep. I haven't even left the house today. I did manage to shower and have three real meals so no need to call out the interventionists just yet, but still. Not a good day.

When the nurse called, I just couldn't believe the news. I went from being delighted that seven actually were mature, then my spirits plummeted as soon as I heard that only three managed to fertilize.

What the hell is wrong with me? We did ICSI for pete's sake - why won't my damned eggs fertilize? Not like we ever had a snowball's chance in conceiving on our own before, but I know that's totally outside the realm of the possible now, when more than 50% of the mature eggs simply won't fertilize even when FORCED. Just insane to me.

I've had a very woe is me day. I'm holding on to the hope that those three are strong and will make it another day. And I will beg for a day three transfer - the thought of waiting until day five with only three on the go fills me with abject dread. Let's just hope the doctor feels the same way.

And if by some rare chance we actually have all three left on transfer day, it looks like we'll put all three back in. Had you asked me if this would ever happen, even a week ago, I would have laughed. Hubs is so scared of multiples that the thought of putting three back in on a fresh cycle gave him palpitations.

That was all in the past. Circumstances certainly do change. And if that's what they suggest and we actually still have three on the go, three it will be.

I'm just so sad and scared of what might happen. This is our last chance. Period. This is it. And now, the thought of having nothing left to transfer makes me want to vomit. Seriously. I just can't believe that we're walking this insanely fine line between possibility and failure. 'Cause there are no other chances after this.

I'm so scared that no one will ever call me mom. I'm furious that some families can have 19 kids at the drop of a hat, and we can't even seem to have one. And while I'm by no means counting us out yet, I'm just so scared that a child free life is what the future may hold for me.

Here's hoping that tomorrow we find out all three are holding on for dear life and that Monday, Labour Day, they'll be back where they have the best chance of succeeding to thrive.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lucky number 7?

Yes, egg retrieval was today. Fun.

So where do we start? Got up at 5am, finally got yesterday's blog posted, and hit the road around 6. Managed to find street parking in front of the clinic, and made it up to the 18th floor in time for our 7am check in.

Where we, of course, waited 20 minutes for anything to happen.

Finally they called my name and the real fun began. Got into the gowns, put on my cute socks and in came the nurse to put in my IV.

Backing up for a minute, let me tell you about last year, when we did our last retrieval. I was greeted by a nurse who was new to the clinic, and tried to do my IV. Long story short, she butchered my arm, blew my vein, then pushed insanely hard on said blown vein to 'prevent bruising'. It hurt like a mofo and my blood pressure was through the roof by the time we finally got the IV in.

Well, you can imagine my delight when that same nurse tried to come at me with the IV again. Argh.

I figured alas, she's been here for at least a year now, doing nothing but this - so she has to be better at it now.

Yeah, not so much.

She was flicking my veins and tried a crazy one on the side that, again, hurt like a mofo. Finally, she decided to go get someone else, and soon we were off and running.

Hubs was able to come in then, gown up, and we were off.

Up onto the table I went. The blood pressure cuff and pulse ox went on, the doctor came in, and the drugs went into the IV. And things got a little blurry after that.

As they're draining the follicles, the nurse called out something - like drip, dripping, stop - while the embryologist on the other side of a little window counted the eggs as they come through. Last time, they counted to 15. I was delighted. This time I heard them say three...then stop. For a while.

Then I heard 'four, five, seven so far'.

And Dr. H stopped.

I was relieved to hear so far, but then I realized that he was done. I asked if there were only seven, and he repeated, so far.

I closed my eyes and hoped beyond hope that there were more.

Then I heard it - seven eggs total.

And I started bawling. From 17 follicles, to 7 eggs. Quite a drop from the 15 of last time. But as I keep telling myself, last time didn't work.

Dr H came up to me and said we got five good ones from the left, and two from the right - that for some reason it didn't give us much this time. He figures we'll have enough to get two for transfer, but likely will have nothing to freeze.

I just kept crying.

Right after that they got me up and we shuffled me back to my little cubby space. I just sat in the chair and cried, while Hubs kept trying to tell me it would all be okay.

Eventually they came back, told us Hubs' sample was okay, took out my IV, and sent us back down to the 11th floor for our instructions. I tried to hold it together.

Back at Hannam, we went in to chat with nurse Jenn. She handed us the progesterone in oil which I start tomorrow, and reiterated that we'll get our first phone call saying how many were mature and how many fertilized tomorrow. I told her we got seven and that I started bawling on the table - and she said she knew, Dr. H had told her. But she reiterated that the estrogen supports the follicles we got so that should bode well for having the max be mature.

Hubs and I hopped in the car and headed home, hitting McDonalds and just making the breakfast deadline. I updated Facebook and some message boards I frequent, then passed out on the couch. I finally got up around 5pm and told Hubs I was hungry so he made a super yummy dinner and we watched a very bad movie. But there was ice cream, so all was not lost.

And now, I'm spent. Totally spent. Emotionally, physically, financially spent. I've been up super early every day for the past seven days. Tomorrow will be my first chance to sleep in in what feels like forever. And I can't wait.

I'm still pretty sore from the whole process. Again, I'd forgotten just how much it can actually hurt. Thankfully there's Tylenol, and hopefully sleep will work its magic and I'll be on the road back to no pain shortly.

But for now, I'm off to bed. I know it's early, but I figure it'll take me a while to even get upstairs, so might as well get a start on it now.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Very superstitious

Writing's on the wall...

Man I love that song.

But it describes me to a t these days.

As you likely well know, today (I would have published this yesterday but my computer was acting up) is retrieval. E2 went up to 5886 yesterday which is good. So we're on for 8am this morning.

So now the rituals begin. I may have mentioned before that my nails are currently painted La Paz-itvely hot, because it (kinda) has the word positive in it. They ask you to take your nail polish off for the pulse ox machine, so I've removed only the polish on my left index finger. I need all the positive I can get! Sorry for the crappy pic - the flash totally changed the colour so I had to go without...

But those aren't the only nails in play. I got a gift cert for a mani/pedi for my birthday so on my actual birthday, I went to get them done. I decided to break my own rules and go for one of those design things on my toes - because I saw one that reminded me of a multitude of follicles, and I was thinking good thoughts right on down to my toes.

I hate feet, but have included a photo for your viewing (dis)pleasure. And yes, I'll never be a great photographer - but you at least get the idea. And I spared you the rest of the foot.

And finally, the attire.

Not that it really matters, 'cause you're gowned up and that's about it. I did buy a new pair of comfy drawstring pants to wear to and from retrieval. And, of course, I bought new socks.

In some IVF circles, retrieval and transfer socks are all the rage. They're the only thing you really bring in with you as they don't want you walking barefoot down the hall, so they suggest you bring socks.

I found mine a few weeks ago at the Oshawa Centre, of all places. A blue and yellow pair with wee chicks on them (I thought this was particularly appropriate for egg retrieval - eggs hatching chicks and all) and a light and dark pink polka dot pair for transfer, the polka dots representing the embryos.

Blue for boy, pink for girl. I'm cheese like that.

I figure I have all my bases covered.

So that's all my luck stuff. Now all I have to do is turn myself over to science for the remainder of the process.

Wish me luck. And good science.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Trigger happy

So here we are, day 12, after 8pm, and we're triggered.

That's right, I took my last shot of the cycle, the holy grail of the stim cycle, less than two hours ago. It's all up to 10,000 units of hCG now.

My E2 was only 3995 today but we decided to trigger anyway. Dr. H told me that 50% of eggs measuring greater than 1.5 will be mature, so he's hoping that judging by my follicles we'll have 8 or 9 mature eggs. So I'm holding on to that right now.

No more stims, no more orgalutron, nothing. Wow. And thank goodness - had he wanted me to stim again tonight, it would have cost us another $500!

I'm working compressed days right now because I'm so uncomfortable. Work's been really understanding which is very helpful - like I could deal with any more stress right now!

As soon as I got off the train this aft Hubs and I did a quick jaunt to Addition Elle so I could buy some comfy new stretchy pants for retrieval day - everything now is feeling a bit tight - then we ran into Chapters to pick up some books to read while I'm off. Final stop was Shoppers to get my estrace prescription and the enema....oh yes, you read that right, the enema....and then we were home.

Turns out my left ovary is high and I'm dealing with one of the delightful side effect of all the meds - gas - (hells to the yeah, this shit is glamourous), so an enema it is. They want to ensure they get a clear view of everything, so good times. We had to do this last time too and oh boy, it felt like everything else was a cake walk compared to this! Hopefully we've learned some lessons from last year - 'cause it's not as easy as it looks on the box.

So back to the clinic tomorrow morning for bloodwork to make sure my E2 hasn't done something weird overnight, but we're really hoping that the lack of orgalutran and the addition of ovidrel will help it finally spike a bit.

That would be nice. It's way overdue!

After the blood it's off to work for another short day to wrap everything up, then I'm finished all that until the 14th.

Tonight I'm delighted to be able to head to bed before my 10:30 drug time. As soon as Glee is over, I'm done with this day. My wonderful bed awaits.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another non-stellar day

Yep, here we are again with an E2 jump of only 700. Bringing us to a whopping 3300 on day 11 of stims.


Seriously...what the fuck.

I was sure it was going to make a good jump today. My follies keep growing at a good rate - I've now got 17 between 1.0 and 2.0 - and my lining went from .7 to 1.0. I really thought my lining jump was the key. It takes estrogen to help plump up that lining in the beginning, right? Surely my E2 had to make a nice jump?


So here I am, stimming again, when in normal land I'd be getting ready for retrieval tomorrow morning instead. Blech. Now, I have no idea if we'll even make it to flippin retrieval.

I've done some poking around to see what other E2 levels women have had at this stage of the game (leading up to trigger) and haven't really come up with much. I've seen one case where a gal I know from a message board triggered at 2600 and is now pregnant with triplets, but that was as close as I could find to my case.

I'm totally paranoid of getting to retrieval and ending up with few or worse, no, good eggs. I can't even imagine anything that would suck more than that after all we've been through to get here. But I just can't see how my eggies could be mature with so little estrogen support. It just doesn't compute.

Sure, the E2 will increase after trigger, that's part of the hCG package. But as always I will fear - is it enough?

Not a banner day, overall. But I'm still hoping that things might peak tomorrow like crazy. I figure it's weird of me to think it might happen after this many days of expectation and disappointment, but here we are. I have to hold on to something.

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