Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 2016

June started out with so much hope and so much promise. It was June 2 that I had my second appointment and started PIO. Five days later we transferred. Three-ish weeks later, here we are. It's been a challenging month.

We experienced, we learned, we grieved, we healed. We've grown. They say whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I don't know that the same holds true for fertility treatment. The failures make you more cautious to raise your expectations again. You dare to imagine, to dream, to hope but it's all more guarded and hesitant.

I received a surprise care package from a friend in another city today. The thought-out gift was put together with love and felt like a big hug. Thank you.

June is over and with it ends the fiscal year. It's as arbitrary as a new calendar year, which people use as a benchmark to make resolutions to better their life, so I can mark this too. It's a line in the sand. For me, I'm ready to move on.  I understand that it may be a long road and I'm ready to look forward to what needs to be done to make this work.

Here's to a happy FY17.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Thankful

I am thankful for my husband.
I am thankful for my family, and nieces and nephews.
I am thankful that I am employed.
I am thankful for my house.
I am thankful I can hear the rain as it washes away today's heat.
I am thankful for Seinfeld and binge watching on Hulu.
I am thankful for Ibuprofen and my heating pad.
I am thankful that people share their stories online and give me hope.
I am thankful I have people in my life that care.
I am thankful we have another shot. 
I am thankful that I am starting to be able to see past the pain. 
I am thankful. 

Results

Bloodwork results came back some time in the afternoon and the voicemail said that HCG is now at negative levels, which I assume means back to zero. This officially closes the chapter on FET #3.

AF started yesterday. It feels like my uterus is mad at me. Period from hell has arrived. Tylenol was helping but cramps have gotten painfully intense and I'm debating upgrading to something stronger.

In prep for the in-person appointment with the doc I requested a copy of my file. I don't care if they think I'm leaving the clinic (I have no plans for that now). I want to see what he sees so we're on the same page.

I want a change of scenery and I really miss the beach. Eff Zika. We don't have friends or family to stay with near the beach so accommodations will be the biggest expense. I have points for flights and I have points for hotels, but for some reason I can't seem to make the two line up in the same city. I don't have the talent of getting great deals at amazing prices. If I try to save money the place is always gross. If we want to go somewhere specific it's going to cost at least $1,000 for just a few nights. I'll keep looking.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Beta #3

Are they even still called betas at this point? I don't know. Another bloodwork appointment. I went in this morning for bloodwork to verify that the hcg levels are continuing to go down. They want to see it back at zero or on its way there.

Over the weekend I had various period-like symptoms and some light spotting, but no AF yet.

I had a dream last night that I went in for bloodwork today and the number came back in the 600s as a surprise to everyone. In the dream, it turned out that the doc read the second beta number of 10.8 wrong and it was actually 108 instead. Supposedly the preg was progressing all along and continued to do so after I stopped taking all the meds once we were informed of the low beta. Even though things were fine with the baby I was mad as hell and I stormed into the office to kick ass and take names. It was a really vivid dream. If only.

The lab tech was really sweet and said she was sorry about the bad news. Even though it made me cry, I appreciated that she took the time to say something instead of ignoring the bad news so as not to confront the awkward. Yes, it's awkward and it's sad but you don't ignore people who go through crap just because it's uncomfortable.

I don't know what news is good news at this point. I don't know what to hope for, so I'm just waiting to hear back from them and we'll take it from there.

My list of questions for the doc grew over the weekend and I've been rehearsing them so that I can have a normal conversation without falling apart. I want him to take a closer look at my case and instead of telling me to just keep transferring, give me some explanation as to why we shouldn't do some further testing to find out if there's an issue. We did it his way. We tried "just continue transferring" after the first fail and after the second fail. It didn't work. Your cookie-cutter protocol may work for a lot of people but it's not working for me. I am a special, one-in-a-million kinda gal and I deserve a customized protocol that will work for me.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sad

So, so sad.

It breaks my heart to see my husband depressed. He shared the news with his parents last night and couldn't explain why the pregnancy didn't take. The question everybody wants to know is,"Why?" and we just don't have an answer.

It doesn't seem to be getting any easier as the days go by. Especially knowing a period from hell is on its way. I feel like there's a weight on my shoulders and on my heart. It's possible that things seem more bleak now than in previous transfers because we know this transfer progressed to a pregnancy as opposed to just a failed transfer with a negative beta.

I know things will get better. I know we will try again and maybe we'll have success. One day all this may be but a distant memory. But in the meantime we're still living through it. It's still fresh and the heartbreak feels unbearable.

We had an uneventful weekend at home with family and friends visiting. At times we just wanted to be sad and cry but felt the need to put on a brave face for company. No one would have judged us, of course; no one expects us to put on a brave face for them. It was nice to be checked in on and kept distracted and busy. I don't believe it's healthy to wallow.

I started reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. She talks about overcoming fears and purposely going for them even when it's scary. To me, it's scary to think that this isn't the last time this might happen but what's the alternative? Not to try again?

We went into the transfer knowing that failure was a possibility, and braced for the worst news and the heartbreak that comes with it. But when we got the positive result at the first beta, it was such joy, such happiness.

It was a glimpse into the possibilities of the future which gives us just enough hope to keep trying.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Feeling better

I made an appointment for Monday's bloodwork. Even though I usually skip this in person, I also scheduled what's commonly referred to as the WTF appointment to reassess before moving forward. The first available appointment my doc had was July 14. I asked if he was available sooner at a different location and got an appointment for July 5. Just goes to show that you should always ask.

I have been researching and making a list of questions and tests to ask about. Hysteroscopy, ERA, thyroid levels, prolactin levels, Vitamin D, natural FET, transferring more than one embryo, and endo scratch. I'm sure the list will grow by July 5. My husband can't come to the appointment because of work so I'm debating whether to go alone or bring someone with me to have a second set of ears in the room. Maybe my mother will come.

My BMI is within the acceptable range for treatment but from everything I've researched, there's a high correlation with miscarriage and high BMI. Since this is something within my control, I would like to lose 10 lbs before the next transfer. Ironically, I've been so anxious and depressed these past few days that I lost the last three lbs from my previous 10 lb plan. So I'm off to a good start. I'm considering joining the gym again even though I've been ok with exercising at home. Something to consider in the coming days.

I also spoke to my general gyn doctor who I've had as my doc for over twelve years. I love her. She's the best. I called her to bring her up to speed and get her opinion on where things stand. It's been at least a year since I last saw her so I started by giving a quick reminder of our situation and before I could finish the first sentence, she finished it for me. She not only had my chart in front of her but she'd also reviewed it before calling me - how refreshing! So different than my RE.

In short, she said we did "only" three cycles and while it's a bummer that it didn't work out that's no indication that there's anything wrong. For couples trying naturally, they're told to try at least a year (12 times) before assuming there's an issue. Even though we're getting high grade embryos and the chances increase with fertility treatment, they're nowhere near 100% and there's no guarantee of a take-home baby. Logically, I knew this is true but it was helpful to hear it from an experienced professional.

We chatted a little more and she was clear to tell me when things were beyond her expertise (like when I asked her opinion on doing an ERA) which helps me put more credibility on the opinions she does give. It made me feel better to speak with her because she's so professional and patient, even though she's not a generally warm and fuzzy kind of person. While I was on the phone with her I felt like I had her complete attention and that my questions were her top priority at the moment. I hope I graduate from the RE and move on to her soon.

I fell asleep exhausted last night at 7:40 PM and woke up several times at night to cry. I went in to work today because I have a deadline coming up, but everyone pretty much left me alone because they think I'm nursing a migraine hangover. Perfect, worked for me. At about 3:00 PM I started feeling faint, hearing people through a tunnel, really dizzy and nauseous. I realized I hadn't eaten since lunch yesterday and that was barely a string cheese and a banana. Luckily I caught it and ate before fainting. That would have been awkward to explain. I'm tired again and ready for the weekend.

I spent some time cooking for shabbat today and made vegetable lo mein, baked breaded fish, broccoli quiche, and chocolate cake. Then I took out some stress scrubbing the dishes. I'm looking forward to the weekend just being home recuperating and recharging.

Shabbat shalom.

FET #3 Recap

For two glorious weeks post transfer I was pregnant. I felt pregnant. My boobs were sore, there was activity in my uterus in a way unlike I've felt before starting from transfer day. My underarms weren't as sweaty even though we were going through a heat wave and our AC was broken for the first week of the pregnancy.  Things tasted different, they smelled different. I excused these as side effects of the medication, not really believing that it was related to a pregnancy.

I took daily HPTs starting from day 3 and when I saw the faint line on day 5 I knew it worked. The line kept getting darker as the days progressed and I knew that things were fine. The positive line on the HPTs reassured me that things were ok and kept me calm. Friday before Beta #1 was the darkest it ever got, day 10dp6dt. By day 11 it stopped getting darker. By 13 it was the same as 11 but I was going in for bloodwork that morning and felt reassured I'll get an answer either way.

The answer was that by day 13dp6dt my HCG level was at 61.2. It wasn't good news, but there was hope because anything about 50 is considered viable. It wasn't until I spoke to my nurse on Tuesday that I started thinking something might not be ok. My body suddenly felt different. I no longer had the cramps or the sore boobs. I felt... empty. I knew it was different. By day 15 I ran out of test strips which didn't really matter because I knew it was over. I had some light brown discharge and the cramps felt different - more like period cramps, more like outer uterus than inner uterus cramping. I held on to hope because I had to, but I knew. On day 16dp6dt, or 4w3d, I got the results from the second beta that my HCG level dropped to 10.8.

Was it something I did? Was there anything I could have changed? I don't know. I don't think we'll ever know why a pregnancy doesn't take. I lifted a case of water last week, was that it? I got my eyebrows threaded on Friday, did that do it? The clinic said it was ok to have sex after 5dp the transfer but do they really know? Logically I know women do these things in early preg all the time even before knowing they're pregnant and they're fine. I'm concerned because we've transferred three normal healthy strong embryos and none of them have made it. What's going on?

To recap, here are things I did prior to the transfer. I don't know if they helped or not but I know I'll want to remember this for future cycles.

- Worked out regularly every other day, walking 2-4 miles each time in the weeks leading up to transfer and after.

- Ate healthy leading up to transfer day

- Got a massage evening before transfer

- Had pomegranate juice, pineapple, brazil nuts day of transfer and day after. Sporadically thereafter.

- Careful with prenatal pills - took one nightly since a month before transfer

- Kept warm after transfer (AC was broken which helped this one)


I can't believe it's over.

The wait was so hard and so agonizing, and at the time it felt like things were moving so slowly. At the blink of an eye it's all over and we have to start again. We're left to collect the pieces of our shattered hearts and broken dreams.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Beta #2

It's over. Beta this morning was 10.8. We are beyond devastated. My heart hurts.

I thought I cried enough yesterday so that when I'd get the news I'd be ok, but no. I can't stop crying. I left work at lunch for some fresh air and texted my supervisor that I have a migraine and I'm not coming back for the day.

Traffic was insane this morning. There was an accident on I-695 and only one lane was squeezing by, resulting in complete gridlock during morning rush hour. I sat in 5 mph traffic for 30 min before turning on Waze and getting an alternate route taking the back roads. I got to my appointment half an hour late and the tech drawing my blood said she was stuck in the same accident over an hour earlier.

When I got the results call it went to voicemail because I have no reception in my office. I read the transcript from Google voice and gathered my things to go out for some air. I know I was expecting it, but it just goes to show how much I was holding on to hope that it was as devastating to hear as it is. We were in! We were pregnant! All it had to do was hold on another 8 months. Why? Why??

I called the doctor back to ask some questions and tried to hold myself together so that I don't sob on the phone. After a long wait, he comes on. He repeats the news. I tried asking a few questions and he said he's not in his office, he's in the hallway between patients because things are hectic. I asked whether the protocol needs to be changed or if there is something we should be doing different after three failed FETs. He tried answering my questions from memory and kept getting information wrong (like asking if I had a RPL workup -- what? no! this was the first one that stuck!). He said that he's crazy right now with one doc on vacation, another doc had an accident hurting her foot, and the major accident from this morning was still an active scene making the entire schedule insane with patients coming in late for their appointments.

At that point I lost my shit. Between sobs, I basically said that I appreciate he's in a tough situation but that this is a very hard time for me and I deserve his attention too. He tried explaining that he will call back when he's at his desk but since he's not at his office right now he might forget and if that happens I should call back. WHHHATTTT??? What kind of care is that?! It made me so upset. I could be being unreasonable, I don't know. It just seems like when you're dealing with hormonally charged women and sensitive news like this you don't just dismiss them.

Not only is the treatment not working but the doctor doesn't seem to care at all. He's like, "Well do you have anything else left in there?" Because I need to remind him. I told him we have two more in the freezer and his reaction was that we should just keep transferring until one sticks. That's it? No changing the protocol? No looking into what went wrong and what we can possibly change? No checking dosage or looking more closely if what we're doing is the right thing? Clearly what you're doing now ISN'T WORKING!!!!!!

I tried not hanging up on him, because even with all this I know I still need the clinic. I said fine, goodbye and hung up. Now I'm home sobbing and trying to understand what I did wrong to deserve this.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Meltdown

I kind of had a meltdown this morning before work. I had the tiniest bit of tan color on the TP this morning and it made me so sad and so sure that it's all over. I couldn't stop crying and was worried I'd have to take the day off work since I can't go as a blubbering mess.

As of noon today the cramps are back but they feel like period cramps and I'm scared to look every time I go to the bathroom. I'm having weird discomfort around my cervix. Can I even feel that? I don't know - that's what I'm assuming it is.

My nurse said that if things progress I'll have to be on the shots until about 10 weeks. Even though I'm running low I decided I'll only place the order if the numbers from tomorrow's bloodwork indicate that's necessary.

I told my mother the news. I went over to the house this morning on my way to work. It was scary! We chatted about random stuff for about 10 minutes while my heart was pounding trying to figure out how to best tell. Now I get why people get funky with the reveal. It was hard to actually say the words, especially when the situation is still so precarious and I'm so superstitious. I basically just said it and the reaction was immediate. She was so excited and so happy. I got a big hug and we cried together. Once I caught my breath I explained that the numbers are low and that there's still a long road ahead. I explained that the numbers need to double now every time I go back for bloodwork until such time that they can do an ultrasound and so on. Here I thought the 2WW was the worst.

I kind of felt bad landing that on her at the beginning of the day but at the same time it felt like the burden was suddenly not as heavy to carry. She has plenty of experience with kid-related anxiety raising us so I'm not so worried about that. I'm not sorry we shared the news. I was happy to have the news to share and until I hear otherwise, I'm calling it what it is!

4w2d

I'm so bummed. I know it's not over til it's over, but things feel different.

For one, the cramping stopped. It's been a constant buddy since transfer day and this morning I just didn't feel it anymore.  For another, I took a HPT with fmu and the line barely showed up. I cried most of yesterday evening after reading what it takes for such a low beta to result in a healthy progressing pregnancy. It wasn't hysterical sobbing, just a quiet mourning and sadness of what's possibly to come.

I told my husband that we should have shared the news with parents while it was still relevant and we were excited, instead of just sharing a chem preg / miscarriage. He said that we can tell them tonight, before Thursday's bloodwork, and that it may still be ok. I feel like at this point we shouldn't get their hopes up only to possibly crush them tomorrow. Then again, the support and prayers would be appreciated so I might take him up on the offer.

Whenever I starting thinking about cutsie ways to announce the pregnancy I stopped short, not letting my train of thought run wild. I didn't calculate a due date. I didn't figure out with a calendar when each trimester would be done. I didn't come up with a list of friends I want to personally notify. I didn't think about a way to let my supervisor and her boss know. I didn't devise a cute plan of how to tell my coworkers. I put everything on the back burner - first I wanted to see a heartbeat.

I know there's technically still hope but none of the signs point to a good outcome from this and I'm so guarded about holding on to false hope. Even if tomorrow's bloodwork comes out shitty they still want to see me again on Monday to follow the progression, if any.  So we might not get a definitive answer tomorrow, but hopefully we'll know more. 

:'(

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

4w1d

I finally connected with my nurse late this afternoon. We played phone tag and then emailed a few times before she caught me on my way out of work.

She gave me an overview of the next couple of weeks and what we can expect, assuming things continue to progress. They want to see me for bloodwork every 3-4 days now. They want the numbers to at least double every time. Once the number reaches at least 2000, they do an ultrasound to determine the placement of the sac. After that I do an ultrasound every ten days for a total of 3. At that point, usually around 8 to 10 weeks, they release to the OB. Shots continue until that time.

I asked about the cramping and she said it's normal, even if it's intense at times. She said I should be concerned if it's localized to one side, if there's bleeding, if I feel clammy, or don't feel well otherwise because those are indications of an ectopic pregnancy.

I also asked about what happens if the number doesn't double on Thursday or beyond. She says that if it's close to double they'll consider it progressing, but if it only rises a little bit then they consider it stalled and that they would expect it to expel naturally. If not, they give a shot to help the body expel it. It sounded like she mentioned a drug given to cancer patients to make fast-growing cells stop growing, which make sense and sounds like a nightmare. It would be a shot given in the office, so it's serious business. They trust us with the PIOs so how horrible can this one be that they need the professionals to administer it. She wanted to answer my questions but at the same time felt the need to calm me down by saying let's take it one step at a time.

I told her I was concerned about the low number because I know that they usually like to see numbers slightly higher. She said that it's true, they do like to see numbers closer to 100 on the first beta but that she has seen cases where it's lower and the pregnancy still progresses normally. As long as it doubles at the next bloodwork and so on then the first number shouldn't affect anything. Still, I don't like hearing that the number is low.

At the end of the conversation when I was really rattled at all the things that could go wrong, I jokingly said, "So at no time do I get to sigh in relief?" and her response was, "Welcome to motherhood - this is forever!" So true.

At this point I'm just overall worried. I also stupidly took a HPT to try to reassure myself everything was still fine and got a super faint line, probably because my pee was so diluted from a day's worth of drinking. But seeing that faint line after hearing all the things that can go wrong just made me so sad and scared and worried.

There are no guarantees and I know this can be over in an instant. I hope it continues to grow and result in a happy healthy baby.

Grow, baby. Grow!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Beta #1

Introducing, for the very first time ever, the "pregnant" label!!!! Beta came back at 61.2 from this morning's bloodwork. According to betabase.info it is within the normal range even though it's on the lower end of the range and under the median. According to my clinic, they like to see a number above 50. I've been trying to stay off the message boards and Google.

It's so surreal. I told my husband as soon as I heard results and we celebrated silently via texts while we were each at work. We had originally decided to tell parents after we heard back the beta results but now that it's a real thing, we're not so sure we're ready to share the news yet. Next blood test is scheduled for Thursday and we're supposed to see the numbers double. I think we want to wait until a heartbeat, but we'll see.

I'm a little in denial. Thrilled, happy, calm. I'm enjoying it as it's happening but also very cautious about being too happy too soon. I put in a call to my nurse to ask a few questions: what happens after the second beta? At what point do we do the ultrasound to hear the heartbeat? How long do I have to keep taking the meds? When do I get released to my OB? Anything else I haven't mentioned? I'll probably hear back from her tomorrow.

This is uncharted territory. We've never been here before but we're glad we made it. Ahhh!

13dp6dt

The waiting continues! Today is the last day of the 2WW. I went into the clinic this morning for my blood draw and we're just waiting to hear results, which I assume will come around lunchtime. Traffic was nearly non-existent and the clinic waiting room was empty when I got there. I was called back within seconds and asked why things are so quiet. The tech said the schedule is packed so she's not sure what's going on. I don't know either but it worked out well for me. I was out so quickly, and traffic on the way back was so smooth, that I had time to go grocery shopping and drop off the food at home before getting to work early! It's as if everyone knew today is a great day to stay out of my way.

I've been feeling symptoms all week but I don't know if they're any indication of anything. My boobs have been sore, which could be the progesterone. I kind of lost my appetite, which could be the heat. I've been having something going on for the past two weeks: it's a mix of cramps, indigestion, and/or gas. It's not gas or indigestion because it's too low down, but that's what it feels like. Again, it could be another side effect of the PIO. When it's there I worry that something is wrong. When it goes away I worry that things stopped progressing. I assume that's what pregnancy will be like the entire time.

I'm excited! I feel good about this. I hope we hear good news.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

9dp6dt

Today's symptoms include lots of cramping and lower back discomfort. I have a weird taste in my mouth but it's slight and if not for the cramping I wouldn't notice anything different. The cramping is almost like a bad period but without any discharge. Beta is on Monday and I'm ready to find out what's going on. We decided to share news with parents once we hear back beta results, one way or another. Other than anxiety of will it/won't it I've been pretty calm and even keel. Very unlike the other two transfers where I was an emotional mess.

I took the day off work today to deal with the repairs. Oven guy came in the morning and oven is now working. Dishwasher guy came and said a part needs to be ordered. Now I'm just waiting for the AC guy to come which is supposed to be between 12 and 6 pm today. I hate feeling trapped at home and unable to run any errands, but if it gets the AC working again it's worth it. There's a bright side to it which is that I cleared out two closets and sorted a bunch of socks, throwing out any that didn't have a match.

I also took some time to spruce up the blog with a new template and an updated About page. Throughout the 2ww I've found that it was helpful to read other people's blogs and hear their symptoms, their progression, and their journey. I google a phrase or the day I'm up to and get a plethora of search results from blogs and message boards. Some blogs are years old and the posts are from 2015, 2013, and even earlier. Not only do I see the complete story of each cycle they post about, but in a lot of cases their journey has also progressed to the point where they were successful in having a baby and are no longer posting actively.

It reminded me that as much as I'm writing this blog for myself to be helpful now and as a comparison for future treatment, it may also be helpful for someone else down the line who discovers this during one of her searches. When I first started reading the blog community, I actively searched for other Jewish couples going through something similar and was surprised that there were so few. Either I couldn't find them because I wasn't searching the right terms or they don't blog as often. Regardless, it was the reason I named my blog what it is: Jewish IVF. Those were the terms I was searching for and didn't find any blogs remotely related so I started one. It's been incredibly helpful to me. If it helps anyone else in the future, all the better.

Four more days to beta.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

2WW thoughts....

I woke up this morning at 4:30 AM to use the bathroom and wasn't able to fall asleep afterward. It's unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night, but once I'm up I'm up for good. I started thinking about all the steps that we need to get through in order for this to be real.

The beta needs to come out positive (high number? I don't know much about this stage and beyond). Then there's a second blood test to confirm numbers are rising. Then there's an ultrasound to check for heartbeat. At some point after that I assume I get released to my OB/GYN for the rest of the pregnancy, which comes with its own slew of appointments and tests: anatomy scan, diabetes check, etc. etc. There are probably a bunch of things that happen that I have no idea about since we were never there before.

There's no guarantee that pregnancy will last full term without complications (protein in urine? high blood pressure? preterm labor?) and then labor and delivery need to go well and the baby needs to survive infanthood with the dreaded SIDS lurking around every corner. Once it starts eating solids you have to make sure it doesn't choke on a grape or a button lying around or randomly sticks a fork in an electrical socket.

Even once you're past all that and your kid becomes a walking toddler, happily playing on vacation, some monster can come out of the water and snatch him away. If puberty and bullying don't get to him first, he might become a young adult hanging out with his friends who ends up in a club with a terrorist and a semi-automatic weapon.

No matter what we do, we cannot predict the future or protect them forever. It scares me all the steps that need to go right in order for this to happen for us to have a health child. It scares me more to think about the responsibility entrusted to us if having a child does become a reality.

I'm no expert, but I'm going to guess that these thoughts are part of the reason I couldn't fall asleep again at 4:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

7dpt6dt

Things have really slowed down at work so I have a lot of time to spend on Google and message boards, researching every tiny symptom. Each thing can be good or bad. Do cramps indicate an upcoming period or implantation? Is a positive HPT really a positive or is it a chemical pregnancy? What does it mean if lines don't get darker? If you don't get a line by day x does that mean it didn't work? One thing I know for sure: the 2WW makes everyone nuts so it's not just me :)

For me, symptoms are confusing because I don't know what's from the heat and what's not. I've been having cramps on and off and some trouble sleeping. I'm surprised by the lack of mood swings. I had severe oscillation in that department the last two FETs. I'm feeling mellow and calm - again, maybe because of the heat.

I spent some energy yelling at the AC repair company. They originally said they expect the part to come in over the weekend and I scheduled for a repair appointment for today, Tuesday. I called this morning before work to make sure we're still on and they're like, "Huh? No, the part isn't in yet." The lady was supposed to call me yesterday to let me know either way. When I called this morning she said she'll call the warehouse and let me know what's going on. That was at 8:00 AM this morning. By 1:00 PM I still haven't heard back so I called again and had to repeat my entire story (even though I've spoken to this woman at least 10 times in the past week). She kept repeating that she doesn't have the part and that she can't schedule us until it's in.

I said that I understand the part isn't there yet, my question was WHY? What the hell is taking them so long to get that part? I could probably get it on Amazon Prime Now in two hours so why is it taking you a week??? And in the meantime my house is SO EFFING HOT. I tried to keep my temper under control because I still need them to fix my AC but I was getting so frustrated. Then it turned out they kept mixing up my work order with someone else's with the same address digits. I bet a competent office wouldn't have this much miscommunication.

I was really frustrated and asked to speak to the manager. After speaking with him I was assured that he will contact the warehouse to find out what's going on and then let me know. Long story short, we have a service appointment scheduled for Thursday. It is what it is. I hope they keep their word this time because I'd rather not go through another really hot weekend.

Monday, June 13, 2016

6dp6dt

Shavuot was really nice with great company and lots of good food. I tried out a new recipe for Key Lime Cheesecake and it was delicious.

Not having any air conditioning was such a bummer. We had fans throughout the house, but it was so warm some days that the house reached 93 degrees at one point. The air was thick and soupy - we spent a lot of time outdoors or at friends' houses. We even slept in the basement one night when it just got so bad.

Mild symptoms come and go: cramps, dry mouth, headache, fatigue, nausea. I've been trying to keep up with walking, usually 2 to 4 miles every other day. I've been drinking a lot, mainly because of the heat. The PIOs aren't terrible but they're definitely less pleasant as my butt gets more and more sore even though I've been good about keeping track of alternating sides. 

 I can't tell if the symptoms are because of the heat, the meds, or something more exciting. We'll find out in one week.

Friday, June 10, 2016

3dp6dt - Erev Shavuot

I'm feeling crummy today. I have no symptoms at all and even the cramps have subsided. I took a HPT this morning (just to mess with myself? I dunno) and of course it came out negative. Of course. It's only been 3 days! What was I thinking? It was such a bummer.

Another of the TODAY show people announced her pregnancy, Dylan Dreyer. She's one of my favorite anchors on the show. Two FB friends posted their summer bump photoshoots and three people at work announced that they're due in December so I'm feeling overwhelmed with pregnancy all around me. It's like popcorn - everyone is popping up with announcements all over. I was hoping we'd have a baby in 2016 and all these December due dates are kind of poking a mental bruise in the back of my mind.

Part of me wants to avoid people because I'm worried about what my reaction will be if anyone else pops. I want to be happy for people and I want to express joy. It's just a weird thing to experience during the 2WW mindset which is a balance of trying to hold on to hope while at the same time bracing for worst case.

Clearly anyone who is announcing is in their second trimester and they've been holding on to this secret for months already, so for them it's a joy and relief to share their excitement. I'm not trying to take away from their happiness, I just wish it wasn't a sensitive issue for me to hear about it.

Tonight starts a three day yom tov (Shabbat followed by two days of Shavuot). I was trying to schedule the AC repair for Tuesday morning and the lady was saying how she can't put me on the schedule until the part comes in, and that she'll call me tomorrow if it comes in. I tried explaining that I won't be answering the phone until Monday evening and that I won't be able to speak with her until they reopen on Tuesday morning, but she wasn't getting it. I was worried we'd get bumped to the end of the week just because I couldn't schedule something "because the system doesn't let." Listen lady, when your house is 95 degrees I'll ask you how much you care about what the system does or does not let. So, being polite and calm, I requested to be put on the schedule for repairs on Tuesday morning just in case the part comes in over the weekend or Monday. I asked her to call me and leave a voicemail on Monday to let me know if it does actually come so that I'll know whether to take off Tuesday or not. We'll see how this works.

Shabbat shalom and chag sameach!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

2dp6dt

This morning I stretched as I was waking up and felt a sharp pain near my right ovary. I have a lot of period-like symptoms: bloating, cramps, low-grade headache. I know it's warm out and I've been trying to drink more water but I could be better.

Feelings-wise I'm kind of numb. I want to believe it worked but I'm very cautious not to get my hopes up so I'm trying to stay neutral and the best way I know how is just to not think about it even though it's always on my mind.

I've been trying to do small, extra things to do my part. For (TMI) example, going to the bathroom at work I usually hover over the toilet seat but the last couple of days I've been taking the time to make a TP barrier so that I can sit and relax. It's kind of gross but at least there's less tension when I sit down.

Our guests for Monday lunch cancelled because their babysitter cancelled on them and they don't want to come with their kids which is totally fine - we'll have them another time and for the time being it's one less meal to host. I should be taking it easy anyway.

Tomorrow I plan to wake up early to finish cooking for the 3 day yom tov. Maybe I'll post pictures if I remember to snap some before I pack it all into the freezer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

1dp6dt

Today is the first day after our 6 day-old-blast transfer. I'm trying not to scrutinize every little twinge. Even so, I felt sharp tug at my uterus last night and the only reason I noticed it was because I read on some message boards that others have experienced a 'pulling' sensation. So either I actually felt it, or I had gas and made it a bigger deal than it was based on what I read.

This morning my husband made breakfast! It's exciting because it's out of character for him to have any extra time in the morning. I had a wrap with scrambled eggs, avocado, and some shredded cheddar. I added a glass of pom juice and a slice of pineapple to complete my feast.

I got to work on time and started feeling cramps again just sitting at my desk, so I know it wasn't imagined this time. It's possible they're effects from the PIO or even the pineapple. Who knows. Shavuot is this weekend and I'm going to try to hold out with the HPT until after Monday. That will be a week after transfer and about the soonest anything would show up.

I'm having some lower back discomfort but I'm thinking it's still aftereffects of the massage. It feels like one good crack would fix it, but I'm not doing that; just going to let it be. I went in for another half day today at work. I told them I'm leaving as soon as the AC repair guy is coming and it's unlikely I'll be back. It worked out well because he called at lunchtime saying he's on his way.

He was here for a few minutes and said the compressor needs to be replaced, which is a part they don't carry and needs to be ordered. That means there's little chance it will work again before the weekend and I'm not sure what the etiquette is with guests for the holiday. I don't want to uninvited anyone but I can't subject them to a hot and uncomfortable environment. At the very least I think it's only right to tell them and let them decide.

Right now the main thing I can do is keep Googling and message boards to a minimum. So hard!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Transfer Day

It's here! Happy Rosh Chodesh Sivan! Also... transfer day!

I was up at 5:30 AM this morning excited and ready for the day. I had time to daven with hallel and make a healthy breakfast. We each went to work with the plan to meet at lunchtime. We got to the clinic right on time for a 1:15 PM appointment, fully prepared with a "moderately full bladder." Vitals checked out ok and I was given my name bracelet. We were given little booties instead of our shoes and taken back to a room. We barely waited 10 min before the doctor came in, verified details, and before I knew it they were done and wishing us luck. I sat around for another few minutes before getting up to use the bathroom and switching back to shoes. Quick, easy, simple. Life changing.

Instead of going back to work we both took the rest of the day off. We went out for lunch and then headed home. When we got home the house was 90 degrees. We opened all the windows and turned on several fans. I changed into house clothes and fell asleep almost immediately - I was pooped from the excitement of the day and the adrenaline I'd felt earlier just ran out. I napped for about an hour until our neighbor came by with her dogs for a visit. I'm glad I got woken up, otherwise I would have slept longer and ruined the night.

My deltoids are sore from the massage last night, but otherwise I feel fine. I drank a lot of water this morning to help flush out... something... I'm told it's helpful after a massage. I had some cramping after the procedure that I felt throughout lunch, a new symptom I don't remember from the other transfers, so I'm hoping it's a good sign but I'm trying not to obsess.

Things I didn't do:

- I forgot to take a HPT this morning. I had a brilliant plan to have one for comparison purposes but in the hype and excitment I forgot to save pee for it and then had to rush out to work so it didn't happen. I'm ok with that.

- I didn't wear my new pineapple socks for the transfer. I came straight from work and didn't bring them with me. I didn't even wear them at home when I got back because it was so warm. I might wear them after the AC gets fixed, but maybe not. We'll see.

- I didn't take off the whole day off. I also didn't take off tomorrow. I had to go in this morning for a meeting but I left at noon. Tomorrow I have the AC guy coming but until then I can't hang out in a house at 90 degrees. There's no requirement to be on bedrest so I just have to take it easy but for the most part I think it's better.

- I never got additional Vitamin D. I'm taking a complete prenatal vitamin and just never got around to adding the Vit D. I also heard too much of synthetic vitamins (i.e., not from food) aren't good for you, so I skipped it.

In my effort to not obsess about this, I keep forgetting and being spacy. For example, I forgot about the del estrogen shot until my phone reminder buzzed. I'm ok with this. I just have to remember to take it easy but otherwise I'm happy with this extreme instead of the constant thinking about it.

One final observation for the night...

I remember watching the TODAY show when Savannah Guthrie announced her pregnancy with her first child, Vale, who is now almost two years old. At the time we were just starting with testing for treatment. As I was getting ready for work this morning, Savannah announced that she's pregnant with number two.  Apparently this means she's not going to the Rio Olympics because of Zika. No one is immune!

I also noticed something else. When I started my blog in January this year, I was depressed and looking for an outlet and community of people who understood things like the discomfort of stims, the pain of PIOs, and the madness of the 2WW. Along the way I read several blogs but started getting attached to three blogs, linked on the side bar, and following their stories. As it stands, it turns out all three of those bloggers are expecting babies this coming year. I don't believe in coincidences but I don't think there's any connection. I am so happy for the circumstances that led each of these couples on their current journey and wish them all the best.

First day down, 13 days to go until beta.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Upcoming 2WW

My 2WW officially start as soon as the transfer is complete and I assume I won't be able to resist taking HPTs. Therefore, I decided to take one the morning of transfer day as a control.

Insane, some may say. Brilliant, says I!

During FET 2, I got fooled by the HCG trigger shot and mistook the second line as a positive pregnancy. I was taking daily HPTs and instead of getting darker the line was getting more faint as the days drew closer to the beta test. I chalked it up to having diluted pee or time of day, but in my heart I knew it didn't work and the pee sticks were lying to me about the second line.

Only after it was confirmed by the negative beta that it didn't work did I Google and realize my mistake. I'm not taking any chances this time! I'm getting a control line in the bank before we do anything so that I have something to compare it to.

I'm hoping I can hold out until after 6dpt to take any additional tests but I make no promises. In fact, if I want to believe this is going to work I'd want to know how soon I can get a positive so that I'll know for next baby! I'm giddy with excitement. Or it might be the hormones - the roller coasters are unpredictable.

Even though I'm going to give in to the HPTs, I need to rein in the crazy and take maximum one per day. One every other day is more reasonable. I will have to play it by ear and see how intense I'm feeling. The problem is that if it comes back positive then I'll be overjoyed and excited. But if it comes out negative, it's a soul crushing blow that makes it hard to remain positive and calm about how it may still be too early and there's still a chance it might work. For that alone I may be convinced not to take any HPTs. It's one thing to take that blow on beta day. It's another thing to take it daily and feel the disappointment time and again.

I've lined up fun things to do during my 2WW, including TV, movies, painting, adult coloring books, puzzles, working out DVDs, company/friends, and several new recipes I'd like to try. We also have a pottery class I'm excited to go to. I reserve the right to ignore the majority of these things and end up ranting obsessively on my blog instead - also a fun activity!

T minus 1

What a weekend! I had lots of wine, sushi, and deli - yum! Stocking up for what will hopefully be a long hiatus from those. I did the grocery shopping for the week and for Shavuot. I also started cooking and stocking the freezer. Over the weekend our AC conked out so now the house is incredibly hot and they can't get anyone here sooner than Wednesday to fix it.

I started today full of hope and excitement. I organized the house yesterday and sorted through all the mail in prep for the cleaning company today. I had the good kind of nervous butterflies all morning and texted my husband about it. Then my RE called around lunchtime with a random clinical question and after taking care of that, I was like, "Hey doc, while I got you on the phone..." and I asked whether there was a plan in case this transfer doesn't work. The conversation left me worried and anxious.

In general my doctor has an ok bedside manner but sometimes I feel like he's annoyed at me for asking questions. I don't care. We pay a lot of money for treatment and it's his job to answer whatever questions I have. This is the third FET of a strong, healthy, PGS-tested, 6 day blast. We're literally giving these embryos the best chance possible and success rates range around 60% so if there's something else that can be done to help it succeed, I want to know about it. According to my chart, everything is ok with lining and bloodwork, and there's no visible reason for it not to work. I asked what the plan is if it doesn't work and at first he kind of avoided the question, instead suggesting that we should be positive and hope for the best. After I pressed, he said can recommend an invasive test for $850 where they biopsy my uterus lining for two cycles in a row to try and get some answers as to why the embryos don't stick. Besides sounding painful and invasive, it doesn't sound like he thinks it will give any conclusive answers. I hope it doesn't get to that.

I had the house cleaned today and I love that it's all clean, even though it's hot. I also had my massage this evening and I feel ready. Hopefully the AC repair guys will find a quick fix for the AC in time to get it working for the long weekend. I have guests coming and I don't want to cancel but will if it's too hot - I wouldn't subject anyone to that.

I talked to a friend about my anxieties and it helped calm me down. It also happens to be Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan and someone on FB posted that it's a special time to daven for children. I found the prayer online in Hebrew and English which is called A Parent's Prayer . It applies to parents-to-be as well, and I got choked up at, "Hear my plea and grant me sons and daughters" in the second paragraph. I know it's all up to Him and regardless of what I do it's He who decides whether we will merit having kids of our own.

Tomorrow is Rosh Chodesh Sivan and I plan to get up early in time to daven and say hallel. I'm grateful we got to this point and I appreciate all the good we've been given every step of the way. We're lucky we have three embryos to transfer and I feel blessed that we got this far. I hope that it is in His plan to help this FET be successful.

Friday, June 3, 2016

FET update

I went in for the halfway check for bloodwork and ultrasound. The first part of the FET protocol is three weeks of birth control pills. Then there's two weeks of del estrogen shots. Once the lining is thick enough, the next step is to add progesterone (for me it's in intramuscular PIO form).

In my mind the BC pills and del estrogen shots are the first half, even if it's the longer part of the process. Once the PIO shots start, things get real. My lining measured at 10 mm but I forgot to ask if it was good. According to Google, anything above 8 mm is acceptable. My first PIO shot was last night and it was really not so bad. I got the ok to do it later than the recommended 6 PM - 9 PM slot because I was working late and there was very little wiggle room with the schedule. If I needed to I obviously would have made my husband come to my office and done the shot at work, but having that flexibility made a world of difference. I'd like to add more details about work but in the interest of keeping this somewhat anonymous I'll keep it to simply saying that my busy season is over and summer chill time has begun!

First PIO shot wasn't terrible, possibly because I was tired and it was late, or maybe because it's the first of many and my butt isn't sore yet. Who knows. Either way, I'm grateful it went well. I have a good feeling about this FET and I hope I'm not setting myself up for disappointment. I can't pinpoint why things feel different this time, but they do. I hope this is our time. 

I was out shopping with a friend at a chotchkee store helping her find costume jewelry for an upcoming occasion and happened upon a pair of pineapple socks! How funny is that? What are the odds? They were ridiculously overpriced but I got them anyway. According to the internet, pineapple helps make babies so I got them them for transfer day :)


Cute!! It makes me happy so it was worth it!

I'm dreading the 2WW. It was so stressful last year. I remember the worst part was that even after I "knew" it didn't work -- I guessed based on the HPTs and lack of symptoms -- we still had to continue with the PIOs until it was confirmed by the bloodtest. It was hard to keep doing the painful shots and trying to keep being hopeful even though I knew it didn't work. I don't know how to make it better. I don't know if there is a way to make it better. But there's no way to skip that part and even if it works, it would be the first of many milestones that require patience.

I already calculated and if this transfer sticks then we would be at 3 months around the end of summer, just in time for baggy fall clothing! This is only one of a million random thoughts that have been going through my mind in prep for this transfer. 

In terms of telling people, I decided I'm not going to argue about who he wants to tell. I'll make my case one last time of why I prefer not to and if he still decides that he wants to tell, then I won't be mad. It's such a tiny cog in the grand scheme of things. It's very possible I'm trying to hold on some form of control because the rest of the situation is so out of my control. I'm telling the internet so who am I to stop him from telling the people he chooses? I know there's a difference but I can see how he may view it as a double standard from his perspective. In a perfect world I'd rather not tell anyone until 6 weeks when we hear a heartbeat, but if that's not feasible then at least until we get a positive beta. Again, I'm getting ahead of myself and worrying about a lot of irrelevant things right now. Let's first get to a successful transfer. 

Looking forward to a restful weekend!!!

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