Wednesday, December 20, 2006

6 week ultrasound

Today I had another ultrasound and got to see a teeny tiny speck inside the sac:

I thought I saw a little flicker when the doctor was moving the wand around, but he didn't see it. I know it's really early to see anything, but I was still hoping. :) He said everything looks great - my ovaries are almost back to a normal size and it seems the danger of getting OHSS again has passed. I'm going back next week for another ultrasound and if we see the heartbeat, I'll be released to my OBGYN. He told me I'll graduate and shook my hand. I wanted to hug him.

I was feeling pretty good until yesterday - just tired and bloated. I'm embarrassed to admit that I had to buy a pair of maternity jeans. I didn't want to do this, in large part because I'm superstitious, but I had no choice. I'm blaming it on the OHSS bloat that stuck around. I tried on a zillion pairs of pants in a larger size, but they looked ridiculous. I'm also starting to get bouts of nausea. I can't complain, though. I don't think I've ever felt so content. All of this continues to feel like a dream.

It's strange to think that my next ultrasound will fall on the one year anniversary of my FIL's death. I've thought a lot about him during this whole process. I know that he's with us in spirit but I wish he could be here for our good news. After his death there was so much sadness and chaos. It's hard to believe that one year later so many positive things have happened. My FIL was the kind of person who could strike a bargain with anyone and make them feel like they were getting the better deal even if they weren't. We sometimes joke that he's negotiating deals for us even now. It doesn't feel like a joke these days.

I haven't felt like writing or much of anything the last few weeks...I hope that changes soon. Happy holidays to everyone!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Yet another update

It's been a long time since I've posted. I've been so tired and grumpy. We both caught a coughing cold at the same time and kept each other up at night, miserable. Lots of cough drops and a humidifier have helped a lot and we are now catching up on a lot of missed sleep. Today is the first day I've felt close to normal.

On Saturday we told our parents. I called my Mom pretending to be interested in the free flight she recently earned, asking her how she did it, how long it took to get the miles, etc. Then I asked her how she'd like to use that trip sometime in August. She caught on right away and was so happy. My Dad was at work so I called him and he was also very happy. It's weird - our anniversary is August 5 and last year we went to Niagara Falls to celebrate. We took long walks and hoped that we'd have good news by the time our next anniversary came around. At that point we hadn't even seen our RE yet, though we did have the appointment set up. Even though the months between diagnosis and IVF seemed interminable, when I remind myself where we were in August it seems like almost no time at all.

We went to B's Mom's apartment for dinner as we often do on Saturday. I took a picture of my digital HPT with the embryo picture in the background and printed a copy. We bought a Hanukkah card and put the picture inside. When she opened it she looked shocked. She wanted to know if we were sure, and I told her I had the beta early. Much shrieking, hugging, and tearing up followed. Then she called everyone who knows about the IVF to share the news.

Yesterday I had my OHSS monitoring appointment. My ovaries are still enlarged, but he said they're slowly going down. The pain I still feel when moving a certain way or walking too much is normal. The fluid inside my abdominal cavity is also going away. He was pleased with my progress. Then he took a look at my uterus:

The small dot in the middle of the image is our little embryo. So far it looks like there's one hanging out in there. It was totally amazing to see that little spot on the screen. So amazing, in fact, that I did something a little sneaky. After he left the room so I could get dressed, I noticed the image was still on the screen. I also saw the print button. Since you're looking at the image, you can guess what I did. How could I not?

When the nurse called me back with my bloodwork results, I asked her what my beta numbers were. On Friday (11dp5dt or 16 dpo) it was 65. Yesterday (16dp5dt or 21 dpo) it was 704. She said they are rising perfectly. I also continue to have normal hematocrit, another sign that the OHSS might stay away. Please, please, please!

B surprised me last night when he admitted to me that he wanted it to be twins. I had no idea he felt that way. We had a good talk about our feelings and it was the first time we really talked with the idea that this might just work. We're both big worriers, though I am the optimist in our relationship. I'm glad we were able to share some of our thoughts with each other.

My next appointment will be next Wednesday at 6 weeks. Still early to see a heartbeat, but that doesn't stop me from hoping anyway. I thought that I would be glad when the 2ww was over, and I am. But there's still a lot of waiting and hoping going on.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's official

My doctor just called to tell me that I'm pregnant. I didn't realize how hard it would be to type the "p" word. I even went back and deleted it a few times and tried to reword the sentence. It's hard to just let go of my fears and worries about what could happen. It's also hard to accept that what I've wanted for so long might actually be a possibility now. I'm not really a relaxed person when it comes to IF. Right now I'm going to do everything I can to enjoy each day as it comes without worrying too much about the next day. Easier said than done, of course.

I told B on Wednesday night. I handed him the last test and he just looked at me.

"What's this?"
"Two lines."
" is lighter than the other!"

After I explained that a line is a line (it's easy to explain that to someone else, but not so easy to accept) he gave me the sweetest smile. He didn't want to get too excited until the bloodtest came back, but he gave me a lot of smiles that night, some when he thought I wasn't looking. He's one of the most pessimistic people I know, so I know he's even more worried than me. We're going to have to work on the relaxing thing together.

I also told my sister. I promised her back when we started TTC that she would be the second person I told. So when she answered the phone, that's what I said: "I told you you'd be the second person!" She has been such a source of strength and support to me during the whole IF process. I was so happy to give her the news.

Now we have a little time to relish the news before we tell our parents. See, everyone thinks my bloodtest is on Monday. When they switched it to Friday, I didn't tell anyone but B. Our families have done so much for us during IVF. It's been wonderful to turn to them when we're nervous or scared. But this also means that they know the timing of everything. They're waiting for Monday as impatiently as I was. Now that we have the news sooner, we can surprise them. It's not exactly like we planned when we started TTC, but it's something. The plan is to call my parents tomorrow and tell B's Mom when we see her tomorrow for dinner. We always wanted to tell the family who had to hear it over the phone first, and we're sticking with that plan.

I go back on Wednesday for OHSS monitoring. My doctor said there's no signs that the OHSS is coming back, but they want to be vigilant. Maybe I'll even get a sneak peek at what's going on in my uterus. :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006



Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

- Emily Dickinson

Yes, I have a degree in English Lit. I've loved Emily Dickinson since I first read her poetry in junior high. This poem came to my mind after this morning when I took another test and saw a line almost immediately. I used a different test - the generic Rite Aid brand. It was either that or another AccuClear and I wanted something else. Isn't that typical - I've spent so long wishing for a positive test, but when I get one (or two) I think that the test must be defective. Even now I want to go on a HPT spree to put my mind at ease, but I know that even 100 positive tests won't completely calm me down. I was a worrier before IF, and I can't say that IF has improved my situation.

I thought today's test might be positive because last night I started having the weird pains I had when I started developing OHSS. When I rolled onto my side to sleep, I had a sore muscle kind of feeling that eventually prevented me from sleeping on my side at all. I'm also a little more bloated this morning after losing most of my water weight. I have some cramping and a tiny bit of brown spotting. And everything makes me want to cry.

I know that there are still many things we have to get through...Friday's bloodtest and the first few weeks among them. But for now I just feel a sense of amazement. I can't wait for B to come home. I haven't told him about any of my tests because I know he doesn't like me testing at all. I don't know what I'm going to say. Maybe I'll just hand him the tests.

Thanks to all of you out there who put up with my obsessive whining the last few days. I know it must have been annoying, but writing down my thoughts and fears helps relax my mind a little bit. I really appreciate your thoughts and support.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The saga continues

I tested yesterday with a brand new AccuClear. I managed to wait about four hours before producing my sample. I put the test on the sink and took a quick shower. When I got out, I immediately saw a line. I've only seen a second line on an HPT when I was being silly and tested after my trigger shot.

Then I realized that test results aren't valid after 10 minutes. I don't know how much I believe this because I've thrown away stark white tests and come across them days later and they were still white. And my trigger-test is the same color now as it was when it registered positive. My shower was very quick, but I started thinking "Well, maybe I was in there 11 minutes!" So I decided to test again today.

After several minutes, I had another line. It was faint, but not something I had to squint to see. Again, I worry because the test says you get results in three minutes, but to disregard results visible after ten. This was visible in less than ten, but probably not in three. I decided to try a gave me a definitive "Not Pregnant". As far as I know, both of these tests have the same sensitivity.

I don't know what to do. I went in for another appointment yesterday and had more bloodwork done. When the phlebotomist was labeling my vials, I thought I saw that the bloodwork order was testing HCGQ and PROG as well as my hematocrit. When I heard back from the IVF nurse, she said my results were normal and that I should come in Friday for one last checkup because my doctor wants to make sure I'm still doing well before the weekend...and that I should have my beta done at that point instead of on Monday. Are they worried that my OHSS might come back because I had a positive bloodtest? Or do they see that there's no hope for me and want to put me out of my misery a few days earlier? Did I imagine that I saw that on the order?

So I guess I'm still in limbo for now. It's 8dp5dt and I feel like I would have a line by now if it worked. I'm going to have to get another brand of test sometime today and get ready to repeat all of this tomorrow.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Stark White

I gave into temptation this morning and tested at 6dp5dt. Nothing. Not even a hint of a line. Not even a line that could only be seen in super bright light when held at a weird angle.

I admit that the testing conditions weren't ideal. The only test I could find expired 8/06. A little time spent with Google revealed that this wasn't a good idea. It seems like expired tests give false negatives and positives. I've purchased two brand new tests for the future. I also didn't have a very good sample. I know that concentrated FMU is best, but that wasn't possible. I have to drink a lot of water to combat the OHSS bloating and have been visiting the bathroom every hour. While this has helped me lose 8 pounds of water weight, it isn't ideal for testing. And yes, 6dp5dt is still early. I would never have tested 11 DPO in a non-IVF cycle. Despite these rationalizations, I just feel down about my chances. I don't have any feelings or symptoms that can't be explained by the PIO or OHSS.

In other related news, I continue to recover from the OHSS. I saw my doctor on Friday and learned I had gained an amazing 20 pounds. Assuming 5 pounds of that can be attributed to my less than wonderful eating habits while on stims, that's 15 pounds of water. Most of that showed up in only a few hours. My bloodwork came back normal and I am going back tomorrow for another checkup. He wants to keep a close watch on me, especially if I'm pregnant. I have to say that OHSS is very cruel to a person in the 2ww. No matter what I wear, I look about 6 months along. This glimpse of what could be burns. We skipped a family gathering today because it would be hard to explain my new bulge and I just wasn't up to dealing with happy pregnant people even though I care about them. This isn't how I usually deal with life, but I just need to look out for myself right now.

I think I might test again tomorrow.