Thursday, June 27, 2013

CD29, 14dpIUI: Second Beta

150!!! That's a doubling at what... 36 hours? Anyway, it's a STRONG second number. Ultrasound on July 12th. We're having a baby!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Open Heart, Release (Happy) Tears

Thank you all so much for your excitement, congratulations, and support throughout this journey and especially over the past two days. I am so thankful for this community and for each one of you. My prayers for your family's growth and peace are still at the forefront of my thoughts. Each of you is so special to me and I'm glad to be with you on your own journey to parenthood.

We are overwhelmingly grateful for this pregnancy. After five years of wanting, three years of talking and praying, and six months of cycling, I was preparing my heart for it not work. But it did. It did! Thank you, Lord Jesus, for this baby!!!

I know it's early, I know it's just the first beta. I know that so many things can still go wrong. But we are filled with excitement, hope, anticipation, and thankfulness. God is so good.

So far I have very few symptoms, certainly nothing that screams pregnant. My breasts are fine, my sense of smell is normal, my energy level is high. I am experiencing constipation, some slight cramping and a general soreness around my bikini area, getting overheated very easily, and getting nauseous when I'm hungry. And I'm having trouble staying asleep at night.

Lord, you are so very good. Thank you for blessing us with this pregnancy. I ask for Your hand of protection throughout the next nine months as this new life grows. Please, provide us with an uneventful pregnancy, a live and easy birth, and a child that thrives physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Prepare us to be the parent's this child needs and fill our hearts with peace. And, Lord, please let this child come to know You at an early age. Everything we are and everything we will become is a reflection of Your love and grace. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are so good. Amen.

CD27, 12dpIUI: Beta

45! A good, strong number for 12 days past insemination. Going back Thursday morning for another draw. I can't believe it worked!!!

Lord, You are so, so good!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

CD26, 11dpIUI: Updated

Beta scheduled for 9:30 AM Tuesday morning. I can't believe it...

CD26, 11dpIUI: Umm...

So, there may be possibly the faintest trace of a line? Like, no matter which angle you hold the test, it's easy to see where the line is/should be. Hmm. I know a line is a line, but this one is so faint that I'm not ready to trust it.

More waiting.

Friday, June 21, 2013

CD23, 8dpIUI: Hope, Briefly

Thank you all for you kind words yesterday and encouragement. They mean so much to me! My thoughts on success come and go throughout the day. When I wake up in the morning, I feel like it could work. By the time mid-day rolls around, I'm sure it didn't. It's a tough cycle to be on, up and down so much during the day.

A few odd things have crept up in the past 24 hours that have my curiosity piqued:
  • Last night on the couch, I kept smelling something strange that no one else noticed. Just a little bit of funk, you know? By the time I woke up this morning, I could smell the garbage can and had to ask R take it outside. Also, the cat's litter box smelled worse than usual this morning and I had to spray double the Febreeze. (Good sign #1)
  • I've been waking up hungry yet slightly nauseous the past two mornings, which is unusual for me. And getting hungry again shortly after eating. Seems that my metabolism is up! (Good sign #2)
  • Although I've been loading up on fresh fruit, I am still constipated. (Good sign #3)
  • Yesterday afternoon, I was in a great mood and then all of a sudden my walls went up and I was ready for R to say something that would make me snap. Weird. (Good sign #4)
  • I can't stay asleep at night. Usually, this happens a day or two before my period. However, the past three nights I have woken up in the middle of the night and had a hard time falling back asleep. Last night, I laid there for 3 hours. UGH! Studies suggest that a sudden drop in progesterone prior to beginning menstruation causes this kind of insomnia. (Booooooo!!!) Although fluctuating hormone levels can cause sleep disruption. I dunno  on this one...
  • Oh! And my sex drive finally came back. Studies suggest that increased blood flow to genitals in early pregnancy can increase libido. Awesome! (Good sign #5)

So there you have it, today's dose of crazy. I just finished breakfast and can't figure out if I want to eat more or hurl. Please, oh please, oh please!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

CD22, 7dpIUI: Not Much

One week since the IUI and most of my "symptoms" have disappeared. No nausea, no spotting, no sore breasts, no headache. All I've got is a few uterine twinges Wednesday morning (6dpIUI), frequent urination last night with restless legs, slight constipation, and a little bit of tired today.

I'm disappointed and feeling like it didn't work. I had more symptoms this past Winter with R's zero count than I do now that we have a chance!

I'm trying hard to stay positive. Still eating healthy and avoiding alcohol. Trying to decide whether to purchase sticks on Saturday (to start testing Sunday, 10dpIUI) or wait until Monday (for Tuesday, 12dpIUI).

I dunno...

I'm hoping that I have some real symptoms by Saturday. I would give anything for sore boobs right now!

Monday, June 17, 2013

CD19, 4dpIUI: Forever

Oh my goodness, these days are just dragging on and on!

The HCG is almost out of my system now: nipples are back to a normal color and only slightly sore. The bloating is almost gone. I'm still getting tired in the middle of the day but a 20 minute power nap is working rather than a two hour nap.

The only strange things I am noticing are, 1) I am having to urinate frequently [I counted: 12 times in 14 hours yesterday - not normal for me.]  and 2) when in the bathroom, there is a thin white discharge. According to Dem Internets, both could be symptoms of very early pregnancy. Although implantation, if it's going to happen, won't start until tomorrow (through Thursday), I'm hoping both are good signs. I'm keeping a look out for the super smell in the next few days...

Just for fun, let's add the fact that I didn't have a bowel movement yesterday. But, again, constipation could be a *sign*. UGH! I'm clearly going crazy.

One bad sign is that, when I get up at 4am to urinate, I have trouble falling back asleep. Which always happens right before my period. I'm hoping that's simply a result of the HCG leaving my system. And/or my naps. Please, don't tell me otherwise right now.

I've moved up test day to start at 10dpIUI, which is this coming Sunday. I can't stand the wait!

Please, make Sunday come quickly. Please, let the test be positive. Please, oh please, oh please.

Friday, June 14, 2013

CD16, 1dpIUI: Walkthrough

Here we are 24 hours later. If fertilization is going to take place, it has already happened. My nipples are angry red and horribly painful, all thanks to the trigger shot Tuesday night. I'm sore and bloated and have woken up nauseous from nerves the past four mornings. I'm praying that each and every one of these symptoms continues as the trigger leaves my system and our hopeful child(ren) takes up residence. Please, oh please, oh please!

May I state, for the record, that it didn't occur to me until Wednesday night that an IUI could be painful? For some reason, the whole thought about a catheter being threaded through my cervix didn't quite come together to equal pain. So, if you're ever wondering, I would like to tell you that it does, in fact, hurt. Ouch. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

I woke up Thursday morning at 4:22 AM and couldn't fall back asleep. I pulled myself out of bed at 4:30 and went upstairs to get some work done. I finally headed back to bed at 6:30 AM and probably managed another 30 minutes of sleep. When we started getting ready for the day, we were full of "ready to get knocked up?" comments and cracks about using the defrost button on the microwave. We are delightful.

We headed out at 9:30 AM and put on the playlist I prepared for the day, which took us from our doorstep exactly to the parking lot at the clinic:
  • Endless Light by Hillsong
  • White Flag featuring Chris Tomlin by Passion
  • Our God by Chris Tomlin
  • Psalm 62 by Aaron Keys
  • Hope Now by Addison Road
  • Let it Be Known by Worship Central
  • All the Poor and Powerless by All Sons and Daughters

During the drive, we were flooded with texts of love, prayers, and excitement from our friends and family. The Lord has truly blessed us with wonderful people in our lives!

We arrived in the parking lot and R prayed for us, acknowledging that the Lord is in control of all things and His outcome is best for us. We signed in upstairs at 10:11 AM for our 10:30 AM appointment and, during the twenty minute wait, managed to crack ourselves up again in the waiting room. I sure hope that didn't make it awkward for anyone else!

We were shown to our room at 10:35 and Nurse M arrived to do our insemination. We signed a lot of papers and she told us that embryology said our sample was the best they had seen all morning at 17.5M after wash (well, it comes already washed but whatever). Woo!!! I put on my lucky socks and we were ready to go:

Five excellent egg retrievals and, hopefully, one successful IUI!

The procedure itself was painful, not only for the cervix stuff but also because I was (am) terribly tender and sore. Seriously, I don't remember being that sensitive before any egg retrieval. Ouch! We did have a special moment when Nurse M asked if R would like to deliver the sample. Aw! He did and that was that. The whole procedure took about five minutes and experienced zero spotting during or after. I'm taking that as a good sign!

I laid on the table for ten minutes after and we headed to finance at 10:58 AM. Back in the car by 11:10 and off for lunch. R was craving a cheeseburger and it just so happened that the place we stopped had a Hawaiian burger with grilled pineapple. Let's see if that old superstition works, hmm?

Nom nom nom!

We got home around 12:30 and I was completely exhausted. R and I laid down on the guest bed and didn't get up until 3:00 PM. Sweet, beautiful sleep!

Our neighbor called to see if I could watch her kids while she went to the ER for her vertigo, so I headed next door and cuddled with her 4-year-old for three hours. Back home by 6:00 PM, made cookies, watched a wicked storm blow through, took a walk after the rain stopped, and then popped in Star Trek. (Did you know that the celebrity face match for our donor is John Cho aka New Sulu? Hott.) In bed by 10:30 and asleep by 11:00 PM.

So, there you go: the entirety of IUI Day. I will say that, if success of an IUI is determined by the amount of time spent horizontal afterward, I think I win. Heh. I was going to go in for acupuncture today but the clinic I talked to had upped their prices since last time. So, instead, I'm taking myself in for a haircut. Yay!

R has a job interview at 1:00 PM today that we are super excited about. We would love your prayers, again!

Going to try to hold out on testing until 12dpIUI. Let's watch!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

CD15, IUI Day: (Everything Rides on) Hope Now

Our IUI is scheduled for 10:30 AM today. Please join us is prayer...

Lord, You are good. Thank you for the opportunity to complete this cycle and to pursue a child together. If it's in Your plan, please bless our family with a child. As we've said so many times, this is in Your hands. Although we want a child, we want Your will more. Prepare our hearts for the outcome of this cycle, no matter what that will be. We love You and know Your ways are perfect. Thank you for Your unfailing love and grace and the assurance of salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ. It is in His name we pray, Amen.

This song came on Pandora in March while I was working. I wasn't even listening to it as I sent an email. But the chorus jumped out at me and I was in tears by the end of the first line. For me, this song sums up our IF journey completely. The Lord has been with us through every step and has known from the beginning how this cycle will turn out for us. I hope and pray that we are blessed with a child but I know that, if we are not, we will be okay - HIS love will carry us through.

Addison Road: Hope Now

If everything comes down to love
 Then just what am I afraid of
 When I call out Your name
 Something inside awakes in my soul
 How quickly I forget I'm Yours 
I'm not my own
 I've been carried by You
 All my life 
Everything rides on hope now
 Everything rides on faith somehow
 When the world has broken me down
 Your love sets me free 

When my life is like a storm
 Rising waters all I want is the shore
 You say I'll be ok and
 Make it through the rain
 You are my shelter from the storm 

Everything rides on hope now
 Everything rides on faith somehow
 When the world has broken me down
 Your love sets me free 

I am not my own
 I've been carried by You
My whole life 

Everything rides on hope now
 Everything rides on faith somehow
 When the world has broken me down
 Your love sets me free
You've become my hearts desire
 I will sing Your praises higher
 Cause Your love sets me free
 Your love sets me free
 Your love sets me free

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CD13: Waiting, Update 1, Update 2

Update 2: Nurse M called me back and told me about her conversation with Dr. C. Basically, Dr. c said anything under 3.5 was perfect. Well then!! We are scheduled for 10:30 Thursday morning, Trigger tonight at 10:30 PM. I can't believe we're here!!


Update 1: I'm slightly confused. Progesterone came back at 2.8, which I thought would mean cancellation. However, the doctor reviewed my case and decided that I haven't ovulated yet. We have a call in at the appointment line to schedule an IUI for Thursday morning. Umm, yay? I dunno... The numbers have me concerned. I think my biggest issue is that it wasn't Nurse M who called me back. I left Nurse M a voicemail after I left the message on the appointment line. I just want her to tell me that 2.8 is still okay with DS. I didn't realize so much of my comfort was wrapped up with her. Waiting again!


Well! Let's not keep anyone in suspense, shall we? Today's follie scan looked good! We have three good contenders and one bringing up the rear. Woo-hoo!

Lining is a bit worrisome because the edges are no longer clearly defined. We are waiting on the numbers from the progesterone blood draw - if under 2, we will trigger tonight for a Thursday IUI.

I'll update as soon as we get the call. Fingers crossed!

100mg Clomid CD3-7

CD13 Scan
F1, Right: 29.5
F2, Left: 27.1
F3, Left: 22.4
F4, Left: 18.2
Lining: 11.9

Friday, June 7, 2013

CD9: A Good Patient

Em at Teach Me to Braid put up a great post and ended it with some questions, asking for feedback. Here are my thoughts:

How would you describe a good patient?

Uncertainty is something we have in abundance with IF. Although treatment is never a sure thing, I do think that, as I patient, I should be confident.

Confident in my choice to pursue treatment. Confident in my selection of a clinic. Confident in my medical professionals, that they hear me and apply their knowledge of ART to my specific case. Confident that I am an individual at my clinic - a real person instead of just a patient. Confident that I can carry out the tasks they set before me (diet changes, taking medications, doing the injections, etc).

And, as a patient, I should be confident in my knowledge of my own body and/or research to speak up and ask questions. Confident enough to ask for answers or to suggest other treatment options, whether Western or Eastern.

What would you do about the lack of contact with Dr. C if you were in my shoes?
I have not heard from Dr. P since my consult and that's okay, because I have Nurse M. She knows me, knows my chart without having to look me up in the system, knows what kind of information I find most helpful, knows what went wrong last time and has ideas on how to get better results going forward.

Without an inside person, one who I can see cares about me and will speak to the doctor on my behalf, I would not continue. Communication is important! If you are not getting the level of communication that you are comfortable with, speak up! If they still do not honor your needs, find someone who will.

Do you have any stories about times you felt like a good patient or a not-so-good patient?
I've been thinking about this one and, honestly, it goes back to confidence.

Since I first joined this clinic as an egg donor, and even now as a patient, I have been confident that they care about me. That I wasn't "just" a donor, providing them eggs: they cared about me in my own right. Whether I was handling the injections okay, how uncomfortable I was as we neared retrieval, trying to keep the numbers down so I didn't get OHSS again, how much pain I was in coming out of anesthesia, how quickly I healed after. I've never been "just" a patient with them.

I will say that, the one time I took a part of treatment into my own hands (taking diuretics after retrieval to get the bloat down) instead of calling Nurse M and asking her first, I paid for it dearly. I don't know if I've ever been in that much pain! It was awful. If I had remained confident in my medical professionals and called Nurse M before taking them, I could have avoided all of that.

I'll wrap it up by saying:
Believe that your clinic cares about you and back it up with the communication/vibes you get from the staff. If you don't have that, run! Run fast!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

CD7: On the Road Again

Heading to Houston today, back Thursday night. Head to Florida Friday morning, back Monday night. Follicle scan Tuesday morning, hopefully trigger Tuesday night for a Thursday morning IUI.

I'll catch up with everyone Tuesday afternoon. Prayers for safe travel and growing follies!

Here's a little throw back to Summer 2004. :-)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CD6: I Hate Clomid

Can I just say? I mean, really. My first cycle with Clomid, it didn't effect me much. A few hot flashes at night but that was it. This time? Oh lordy! First dose was on Saturday and by Monday I was in NO MOOD!

Here's the thing: I'm a very patient person. It takes a lot for someone to get on my nerves, let alone for me to lose my temper. But yesterday I was just done. You know what I mean? Like, nobody talk to me, nobody look at me, nobody ask me for anything because then I would have to answer you and I'm afraid that I WILL START YELLING LIKE THIS!!!

Not because I'm mad or don't like you or even that your request is all that out of the ordinary. No, just because I am tapped out - I have nothing left to give. All of my resources have been spent; let me sit here and stare at the wall, plzkthx.

And then I woke up this morning is a puddle of sweat.

After today, just one more dose of Clomid. I can't freaking wait.