Thursday, February 28, 2013


The day of my transfer was overall uneventful but I wanted to share a few quick stories from that day so that I don't forget.

My mom had to take me to the appointment because Nate had already flown back. I didn't have any idea how long the wait would be, so it's a good thing my mom brought her ipad to keep her busy.

I was taken back and given a pill to "relax my uterus", I know they told me what the medicine was, but I can't remember what it was called. Then they asked me to undress from the waist down, as per usual, but I'm glad that I asked how long the wait would be. When she told me 15 minutes, I knew I couldn't make it. I had wanted to make sure my bladder was full enough so I had downed a liter of water in the car on the way over to the appointment. She told me to go and let a little out, so I did.

I waited another few minutes for the doc to come in, but after a quick abdominal ultrasound, he told me my bladder looked like Lake Michigan and my uterus looked like tiny Chicago by comparison. I joked with him that it was ironic that he should use that comparison because I'm originally from Chicago.

I thought he was just going to have me go pee a bit more, but instead he whips out a catheter. Now, I've never been catheterized before, so I didn't know what to expect, but he said it was easier to get my uterus the exact straight shape he wants if he does it rather than letting me pee. He drained my bladder into a pan and handed it off to a nurse and told a quick anecdote about dumping it on a woman's husband's cashmere sweater. The removal of the catheter kind of pinched and I peed pink for a day or so, but overall it wasn't bad.

He called in the embryologist and told him to "load one up" for me. The embryologist brought in the catheter and with a bright flash on the screen the job was done. They checked the catheter and it had gone in.

Once the transfer was done, which was painless and quick. He used the mouse on the ultrasound machine to draw a heart shape around the little white line he told me was where they put the blastocyst in. He printed the picture and gave it to me, I carried that around all day! I tried to scan it, but you can't see the light heart drawn onto the picture.

After the transfer, he told me I had to lay and rest for an hour before I could go. He rubbed my stomach and showed me the charm around his neck, it was tucked in under his tie, so I never saw it before. I knew what it was right away, it was a Kokopelli charm, the Native American fertility god.  They are all over New Mexico! I just never thought to buy one or wear one or do anything with one. He told me that he wears that charm so that the fertility gods will always be on his side. It seems kind of corny now, but at the time, it made me so glad that I trusted him with all he had done so far.

It was really much less eventful than I thought it would be. But I do want to make sure that I remember it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Still pregnant...I think

This ended up as more of a brain dump then I meant for it to be. I feel like I haven't been sharing everything and I'm hoping to do a few posts (to keep me occupied over the next few weeks) on the things I've glossed over or stories I've skipped altogether.

I always thought people were exaggerating when they said that the first few weeks of pregnancy were more stressful than the 2ww.  I was wrong.

The odds of miscarriage are still looming in the back of my head and these thoughts bubble to the surface every time I think about how long I have to wait until an ultrasound. Finding out early that you are pregnant is not all it's cracked up to be. If I hadn't had a blood test last week, today would have been the first time I would have pulled out a pee stick and actually tested on a natural (or any other) cycle. Today I am 12dp5dt or 17 dpo, my longest and most frequent luteal phase is around 16 days. I would have just found out today that it was positive, I would not have had this last week knowing and would just be getting blood tests done this week.

But instead, I know. I know that it is positive, I have for a week. It is the greatest news I've ever had to share, and only a handful of people know. (The husband spilled his guts to his best friends this weekend, he doesn't have siblings, so I guess its fair). This handful of people have also been told that things could go south at any time. The husband has agreed to the responsibility of sharing any bad news from this point out.

I traveled for work again this weekend. I went to Orlando, Florida for the launch of a new hearing aid. We didn't go to Disney. Instead, we stayed at the Rit.z Carlton and had class all day. These trainings aren't all they are cracked up to be either. We go someplace warm(er than where I live), an fantastic hotel with the best service I've ever had, that has several pools, lakes and walking trails, and I spend 3 days inside a conference room. My husband still thinks of it as a vacation, although he has been with me and knows I don't get to enjoy my surroundings.

This means I got to travel with meds again. It wasn't so bad. I've developed a system. Double bag ice from the freezer and throw it into my lunch box with the refrigerated meds. Drive to the airport, get my boarding pass, right before security, dump the ice in the sink in the bathroom, go through security (opt out of the x-ray because "like hell" I'm going to go through that and risk all the money and good fortune we've recently had, so I get the government issued massage in the form of a pat down), collect all my belongings (which include syringes and needles which no one blinks an eye at!) go to a restaurant/store and ask then to give me a cup of ice and re-fill my bag. If I have a layover, I dump and refill at that airport. Then I get to do the reverse on the way back. This time, however, they brought me a mini fridge for my room so that I didn't have to deal with cooling the stuff in an ice bucket.

I did have to enlist a co-worker to give me my progesterone shots. I tried before I left to give it to myself and when I aspirated the needle, there was blood. Whether I actually hit a vein or just jostled the needle so much I started to bleed, I don't know, but again, I'm not risking anything. I have two graduate students who work at our practice (both female) and they really wanted to help out with this process. They want to "help" make me a baby. They know we went for IVF (the practice is too small for me to leave for 2 weeks without them knowing). However, they think that we are doing an FET in a few months and that the progesterone shots are part of that process. I haven't told them or my boss the good news yet. I hope to wait until 12 weeks to let them know, but I'm the main provider at the practice and they have to prep for my maternity leave [sending out vibes to the universe that we make it that far] The only person at work who knows is our PA. She is TTC too and knows all about where we are at and what exactly I did in Las Vegas. She is the one who had pre-term labor in 2011 and at 24 weeks her baby didn't make it. I posted her story here, but am too lazy to link to it. She is a good friend and  I felt she had the right to know as soon as we found out, for personal reasons and sort of for safety at work. She was very happy for us. As she is approaching 40 years old, I hope she considers going to Las Vegas too.

So as I sit here and wait impatiently for the ultrasound (March 13) to arrive so that we can have a look inside and see if all is well, I count down the days (17 to be exact). I hope to relay some of the things that I encountered during this IVF process that will keep all of our minds busy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Per the doc...

We are officially Pregnant!

Beta came in at 100. Thats a doubling time of 26 hours.

We did end up telling my parents on Monday night. They were with us in Las Vegas and knew we were having a test on Monday. I worried that if I didn't tell them they would think the worst.

Nate told his parents today, and I called my sister, brother and sister-in-law.

We are stunned that IVF worked, that we actually have a chance at pregnancy.

I am not scheduled for another beta, but rather an ultrasound on March, 13. That seems a long time to wait for more info, so in the meantime I've been peeing on things...pregnancy tests to be specific.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I had to tell my husband first...

that something took root!

Positive beta at 6dp5dt (11dpo) with a beta at 28!

Back in on Wednesday AM (13dpo) for a beta #2, hoping for 56+.

I got the call at 11:00 AM and had to wait 8 hours until I got home to let him know! I got home so late I couldn't come up with anything creative. I asked Nate if he wanted to go out to eat to celebrate, it took him a minute, but he got it.

We didn't go out to eat...I just spent 10 days in Las Vegas...I ate out 3 meals a day for 10 days...

So I went and POAS...(sorry about the pic, I had to tape the strip to a postcard for the line to be visible on an iphone photo)

Cheapo internet HPT, positive threshold at 25 mIU/ml

It was most definitely positive, it was not FMU in fact I had just peed 10 minutes earlier but forgot to test.

We are so happy!

Side note: If you know me in real life, we are not ready to announce this to anyone, we haven't even told our parents. We will be waiting until Wednesday's results to relay the news.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beta #1 Tomorrow

I have about 50 cheapo HPTs under my bathroom sink. I could have tested multiple times everyday since I got back home. However, I decided against it.

I didn't test out my trigger and didn't want to risk a false positive.

Also, I'm just not ready to know if it is negative.

I go for my beta tomorrow. I'm just going to the local lab, so I can go anytime, because of work, I will be going first thing in the morning. I will be 11dpo, 6dp5dt.

If it is positive we will hope for a good doubling time on wednesday, if it is negative, I don't know what that means! Is it to early? I go for another beta on Wednesday regardless.

I hope to keep my calm while I wait for the doctor to call with the result sometime tomorrow. At least I convinced Nate that I should go to the lab at the local hospital which does in-house lab work, verses going to the cheaper lab that has to send everything out and could take 48 hours to get the results.

Side note: PIO is a real pain in the ass!


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Thursday, February 14, 2013

One snowflake

I was very nervous all day today. I knew I had to talk to the doc to find out one way or another. I had to call, and so I did. However, I was told that he was in consultations all day and I could leave a message.

Even though I didn't want to hear the results by e-mail, I wanted to hear as soon as possible and everyone at that office is great about responding to e-mail. So I sent the message...and proceeded to check my e-mail every 5 minutes.

I got a response faster than I thought, and from the doc himself.

We have one little snowflake on ice. A grade II expanding blastocyst! (rating unknown)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Transfer day!

We had one "ideal" blastocyst transferred today, rating unknown. Embryo 2 did not look as good, but will be frozen tomorrow if it still is growing. Embryo 3 didn't make it, stopped growing before today.

Currently pupo (pregnant until proven otherwise).

Beta#1 scheduled for Monday. Beta #2 scheduled for Wednesday. He said that beta #1 is probably too early to detect anything (not sure why we are doing it then). Beta #2 will be the official beta.

I thought I'd include a photo here because I'm so proud and happy that we made it this far.

Send all your sticky vibes towards Las Vegas, I'm here through tomorrow, then all energy can be directed back to New Mexico.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

3 for 3

I just got a call from the doctor, and after I updated my husband (who has since flown home) and my parents (who are still here) I thought I'd let you all know how things are going.

All 3 embryos are still growing. 2 are 7 cells and look very similar and good. 1 is only 4 cells but still looks like a good quality. I don't have the gradings because I didn't ask and wouldn't know their system even if I did ask.

The plan is still to transfer 1 day 5 embryo on Tuesday!

Ladies, please keep everything crossed for another few days. Especially think of our little 4 cell embryo, we would really like to have multiple more opportunities from this cycle.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Fertilization report

The doc just called.

Out of the 10 eggs, 6 were mature.

Out of the six mature eggs, 3 fertilized normally.

Not quite what we wanted to hear.

We are currently planning for a day 5 transfer of 1 embryo. The doc will call on Sunday with an update.


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Thursday, February 7, 2013


They told me that there might be 10 good follicles, and then just before retrieval the doc told me that he hoped to get at least 6 eggs. Maybe he just wanted to lower my expectations.

We got 10! 10 eggs from 10 follicles, color me happy!


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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thursday is a good day, right?

I had my E2 and ultrsound again today.

Doc said he saw 10 follicles today that should be good. The smallest is around 12mm, but might get to 15 by the time of retrieval. I'm getting nervous now.

My E2 yesterday was 1175, don't know what it was today as the labs weren't done before I left.

I do my trigger tonight at 10 and have to show up at the clinic on Thursday at 9:15.

I'm lucky in that my mom is going to do the trigger for me. My twisting skills aren't up to par to do it myself, but I think I'll have to buck up and do the progesterone myself. Although I do have the PIO and suppositories, don't know which I will be using yet. My parents came to Vegas yesterday and will stay at least through retrieval, maybe even transfer. My dad wants me to do the trigger in the hallway of the hotel so that he doesn't have to watch, I told him that he could go stand in the hallway while we do it instead of me baring my ass to the whole hotel. The way the Luxor is laid out is such that I would literally be visible to the entire atrium of the hotel. It's also nice to have my parents here because they drove in from LA, so we have a car now.

Nate flys in tomorrow around noon. He'll be here just in time for his part in this whole thing and is staying through Saturday morning before he flies back. He has school and the dog sitter is expensive. He is also expensive when he is in Vegas. He would like to be here for the transfer, but it just isn't that important in the long run.

On a different note, I hurt my ankle...badly. I walked a long way down the strip when I got here the first night. I did something, I don't know what, just right to pull a small tendon on the outside of my right foot, just under the ankle. It has progressively gotten worse. Each day we take a walk down the strip to look around, but I can't walk without it hurting without walking on my tip toe. It is starting to make other muscles hurt. I think I'm going to take tomorrow off and do some work from my computer while I let my parents explore.

Side note: thanks for the advice on the meds, but what I forgot to mention was that there is no mini-fridge in the room. Thus the problem. It costs extra to have one added or to get an upgrade to a room that has one. ($18 per night for a fridge, or a $25 per night upgrade). Just enough to make it seem like a lot of money on top of the fortune we have already spent and continue to spend on food. We have gotten by thus far by cramming my remaining follistim, progesterone suppositories, and Lupron in the bottom of the ice bucket. Then we fill the bag with ice and put it on top. It seems to keep it cool enough without freezing it, as long as it is changed every few hours. My mom has been changing it and bringing me ice for my ankle, which unfortunately isn't really helping with the pain. For right now, I plan to pack the now liquid ice packs I brought with me in my checked luggage. I will then take the bag of ice in my lunch box and empty it right before security and then get more ice when through security.

Second  Side note: We have been traveling off strip to eat dinner, which saves money, but it is still eating out. God bless my parents who have been buying my food each meal. They also insist on paying for part of the hotel, which I have insisted is my treat (I would have had to pay for it whether they came or not).  We ate at a place called the Blue Ox and had the best Nacho Appetizer that I have ever had. I think it was the fresh chips fried right before serving.

Third Side note: Menopur bruises, it doesn't matter what I do, that stuff gives me welts! It looks like I have been pinched or beaten where I injected it the 3 times. All the other injections leave a pin prick.

Monday, February 4, 2013

And you were there...and you were there

I had a dream last night about my visit to Las Vegas. You guys were all here. All my blog followers came out to check on me. Those of you who have been with me since the start, whose faces and names I know, where surrounding me in my hotel room. Those of you whom I don't know your names, or don't know your faces were there too. you were at least at the hotel, if not in my actual room.

Trathy (and they all lived) hadn't heard from me on Facebook and got worried, so she flew out. She called around, texted and messaged the rest of you to get you guys here. She was still making calls and messaging people. I think she was on the phone with MarWil (an expat's journal)

Jen (the chronicles of violetta margarita) and Josie (my cheap version of therapy) were busy on my work computer updating my blog for those who could not make it out.

Bridget (the lost stork) and Amanda (our fertility journey) were on the phone with my doctor's office trying to get details about what happened.

The rest of you were doing things too, I'm just not sure what.

I don't know what had happened to bring you all out here. In fact, I don't know that anything did happen. I just know that you were all here with me, supporting me. I just know that I felt loved by you guys. So loved...

Thanks for supporting me through all of this!

Side note: had my E2 drawn today, don't know what the result was, also had my ultrasound done, lining at a 9.1, triple striped, around 9 follicles total between 14 and 21 mm. Retrieval tentative for Thursday.


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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Flying with meds

So I made it through security just fine and am sitting at the El Paso airport 2 hours before my flight because I was unnecessarily concerned. This 2 hour wait is longer than my flight! Thus, I'm blogging from my phone.

They did pull out the ice packs I had in a lunch box with my follistim, lupron, and progesterone suppositories, but the gave them back as they were still frozen solid as TSA requires. I don't know what I'm going to do on the way back. I guess I'll pack the ice packs in my checked luggage, but I don't know what I'll use to keep the progesterone cold on the way back. Must come up with something...I'm taking suggestions through next week when I have to fly back. All my other meds, needles and syringes were fine.

On another note, I made a mistake when booking my flight I had intended to book it for today, I thought I had booked it for today; but I got a call yesterday saying that the second leg of my flight was delayed, the second leg of the flight that was scheduled to be on for yesterday...oops, missed my flight...

No big deal, I called the airline and rescheduled for a flight today...yes it was a $100 mistake, yes I had to tell my husband a white lie to cover my ass, yes I feel horrible about it, but there was no major freak out, and if its the only thing that goes wrong...I'll take it!

I go for my first scan tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed everyone! Can I put any money on any color or number for anyone, or should I just save all my luck for IVF and sit by the pool (if it is warm enough)?


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