My CCRM IVF Journey

Our successful journey through IVF #2 at one of the world's top fertility clinics

19w2d

Posted by auntiem10 on May 9, 2011

Yesterday was a weird day. From morning until evening, I received phone calls or text messages from family and friends wishing me a happy “Mom-to-Be Day.” My husband gave me a card and a digital picture frame, on which I can display ultrasound pictures or other photos at my new job. We met my in-laws for breakfast and much of the chatter was about babies–our 3-month old niece was there, my SIL is expecting a baby in October, and of course we received attention ourselves. It is so surreal and strange to be a part of this “club,” and I would say that even at almost five months pregnant, sometimes this turn of events in our lives still doesn’t feel real to me. I’m not sure these feelings are normal, but they are what they are.

My heart ached yesterday when thinking of the pain I felt last Mother’s Day. Last year, my husband and I vowed to stay far away from all social networking devices and instead kept ourselves busy gardening and spending time together, and trying not to think of our infertility. In the evening, we held two adult beverages, and my hubby toasted to our wish of having a bun in the oven by this Mother’s Day. And despite our success in January, those feelings of sadness are never far from my heart or mind. I hope and wish that everyone reading this entry today will hold babies in their arms or their wombs by next Mother’s Day, either through adoption, treatments, or naturally. Thank you for reading.

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Posted in Pregnancy | 5 Comments »

Half-Baked! (18 weeks)

Posted by auntiem10 on April 30, 2011

We are shooting for 36 weeks gestation before delivering these babies, so today they are officially half-baked! The hubby bought me some themed ice cream to celebrate. : )

Luckily, the gestational diabetes test I took on Thursday was negative, so I can enjoy this treat without guilt. It is delicious!

Yesterday morning at work, I was in a meeting when I rotated my body to sit in a chair and felt my left kneecap dislocate. Ouch! I’ve battled this problem for years with my right kneecap (and undergone three knee surgeries), so instinctively I hyperextended my left leg to pop my kneecap back in place. I didn’t want to cause a scene in front of the 70+ people in the meeting, so I sat through the remainder of the meeting knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to bear weight on my knee. I ended up having to go to the hospital in an ambulance for x-rays–humiliating! My hubby called my aunt (a former x-ray technician) for advice on how to keep the babies as safe as possible from radiation. The x-rays showed that I had torn a blood vessel in my knee, so I’m on crutches until the massive swelling goes down. My hubby had planned a guys’ trip with two of his friends and was due to leave this morning, and I feel awful that he had to cancel to take care of me. We are both just thankful that this health issue had nothing to do with the babies… the nurse found both heartbeats in the ER, and luckily I didn’t fall down or do anything to negatively impact their health. My knees suck!

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First Cervical Check (17w5d)

Posted by auntiem10 on April 28, 2011

Today I had my first cervical check at my peri’s office, and everything went perfectly. The u/s tech first checked out both babies, measured their heartbeats (both 156 bpm), and assessed their amniotic fluid. Things could not have looked any better, thank goodness. Both babies were waving and wiggling around, and we even saw Baby B yawn. We also got official confirmation that Baby B is definitely also a girl. A few weeks ago, we weren’t able to get a shot of the goods, but we got a great shot today. We’re excited!

Next the doctor came in for the cervical check. They measured my cervix twice, and the first measurement was above 3.5 cm, and the second measurement was exactly 4cm. Perfect. The doctor said any measurement about 3cm is wonderful, and they start to get concerned when the measurement is below 2.5cm. Yay for my cervix! : ) They will check this measurement bi-weekly until either 24 weeks or 26 weeks (depending on which doctor is making the decision), and then they don’t check anymore. The next cervical check will be on May 10th during our anatomy scan.

Once the ultrasound was done, I drank the gestational diabetes Glucola solution. The flavor was orange, and it just tasted to me like orange soda. I had to wait one hour before going to the lab to have my blood drawn. The lab is also testing my thyroid levels to make sure they’re not fluctuating with pregnancy. I should have the results on Monday or so.

I received a little bit of a lecture about my weight because today it was up SEVEN pounds since my last appointment on April 15th–less than two weeks ago! I’m up about 10 lbs now, apparently. I honestly think some of the gain had to do with the fact that I had a 4pm appointment (and my last weight check was at 8:15 a.m.), and my weight fluctuates during the day. I also drank a lot of water today and grabbed a late lunch on my way to the doctor. But some of it was probably junk food (consumed during bouts of nausea) catching up with me. My doctor wants me to gain the majority of weight in the last trimester, so I need to cool it for now. I will have to make better decisions about what I’m chowing down on until my next appointment in May.

Despite this promise to eat better, I fully intend to buy a small amount of Ben & Jerry’s “Half Baked” ice cream and enjoy it on Saturday when I hit 18 weeks. : ) In a perfect world, I’ll make it even further than 36 weeks, but that week is my primary goal. And I can’t believe I’m practically halfway there! I’m so lucky, and please don’t even think I am taking a single moment for granted.

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Twitchy Movements (16w5d)

Posted by auntiem10 on April 21, 2011

I believe I am feeling the first movements! On Sunday evening, I was lounging on the couch with my hubby when I felt a weird sensation. You know how it feels when you have an eye twitch? That is what I sensed in my belly. The feeling was very low on my abdomen, near my pubic bone. I wondered if it was Baby A, but I wasn’t sure if my mind was just playing tricks on me. I’ve felt this same feeling off and on all week, but the movement strengthened today and left little doubt in my mind. The twitching started this morning and is still occurring at nearly 6pm. Amazing! Today I also may have felt Baby B move a few times for the first time, but I’m not sure. That feeling is definitely not as strong at this point, which makes sense because B’s placenta is anterior.

I can’t believe Saturday will mark 17 weeks. That is practically the halfway point in a twin pregnancy! I feel so very grateful and amazed at our good fortune!

Posted in Pregnancy | 8 Comments »

I’m Seeing Pink (15w6d)

Posted by auntiem10 on April 15, 2011

It appears that there are TWO GIRLS in my belly! Eeeeeeek! Baby A is absolutely a girl–we clearly saw those telltale girly bits. Baby B was a tiny bit more difficult to see, but the u/s tech seemed confident that she is also a girl. The peri came in and took a look, and he said he wouldn’t necessarily start buying pink for this baby yet, but that he also guessed girl. We will know for sure at our anatomy scan on May 11th.

We are so excited and still can’t believe things are going so smoothly. We feel very, very lucky. Many parts of the anatomy were measured today, and everything looks perfect. Both babies weigh 6 oz each, and they were wiggling away. Today we were able to see things like their cerebellum, their kidneys, fingers, toes, spines, and beautiful heartbeats of 153 bpm and 156 bpm. Both babies have plenty of amniotic fluid, too. It’s great to be celebrating 16 weeks tomorrow with such good news.

My weight is up 2 lbs, but that’s appropriate at this point since I already had some extra IVF weight when we got our BFP. My nurse exclaimed, “You look so great!” and it made me feel like a million bucks. : ) I’m still throwing up a few times a week and having to take generic zofran. I also have what is called “rhinitis of pregnancy.” Every night, my nose is stopped up and it bleeds when I try to clear it. This morning, I threw up blood, which really freaked me out. I talked to the nurse, and she thinks that my sinus cavities are dry and that we should use a humidifier in our room. I also have a weird (non-itchy) rash on both sides of my neck, and the peri thinks it may be a fungal infection. I have to apply Selsun Blue (dandruff shampoo) to my neck daily to hopefully clear it up! If that doesn’t work, I have to resort to a yeast infection medication. This is so weird, as I never have skin issues. I have no idea what would have caused it, but hopefully one of these remedies will make it go away.

I go back to the peri for my first cervical check on April 27th. Hopefully everything will be long and closed for quite some time. Then we’ll have a more detailed anatomy scan a few weeks after that, so things are really picking up now!

Posted in Pregnancy | 13 Comments »

Reflection (14w6d)

Posted by auntiem10 on April 8, 2011

I woke up a year ago today in a Denver hotel room, knowing that my life had changed for better or for worse. The previous day, we had undergone the rigorous testing known at CCRM as the “One-Day Workup.” For us, the ODWU was life-altering because we left totally sold on CCRM and acknowledging that this would be our closure cycle. We just personally felt like we couldn’t keep halting our lives to save the money for treatment, and we wanted to cycle at the best and move on if it wasn’t meant to be. This is what I wrote in reflection about our ODWU experience on April 14, 2010:

I left his office feeling lighter than air! Locally, we were labeled poor responders, at high-risk of cancellation, victims of a biochemical pregnancy. At CCRM, we are “unexplained” and given excellent odds of success! For the first time ever, I honestly felt (and continue to feel) like we may actually conceive a child of our very own.”

The past year dragged terribly at times. Waiting until our bank account reached a high enough level to pay for a round of IVF with CCS testing and cover all travel expenses, getting canceled in August and having to start all over again because of a party-pooping cyst, waiting through the very long Depot Lupron treatment, gearing up for the FET. All of these long delays left me drained and struggling to cling to the hope I felt last April. And this is not even mentioning suffering through my SIL’s pregnancy and subsequent baby shower preparation. If I could have seen our future in a crystal ball, I imagine I would have slept a little better at night. But one year ago, all we could think was “What are we getting ourselves into?” I am so thankful for the way things transpired. Because the journey was full of roadblocks, I believe I appreciate it more.

Tomorrow marks 15 weeks. Every week that this continues still feels like a huge gift. On Wednesday, having gone more than two weeks without an ultrasound to confirm that things are still fine in my ute, I headed into my doctor’s office for a quick reassurance scan. I’m lucky that they are so understanding and will let me take a quick peek. The scan was very grainy, but we were able to make out both hearts chugging away and see a clear shot of one baby with his/her fists balled up. No obvious movement from either baby, but maybe they were snoozing. My nurse practitioner said my uterus is popping out exactly right for this gestational age (just below my belly button), and she predicted that I should feel movement within the next 2-3 weeks. I’m hopeful that feeling something will finally allow me to relax.

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14 Weeks!

Posted by auntiem10 on April 2, 2011

First of all, I just want to apologize that I haven’t commented on many of my friends’ blogs lately. I have four more work days at my company, and I’m trying to complete as much work as possible before I leave for another opportunity. I am reading your blogs at home, but am not able to comment from there. I just want you to know that I’m thinking of all of you!

Today I’m 14 weeks and officially in the second trimester! Some online resources (and my peri’s office) say the first tri ends at 13w3d, but other resources say the second trimester doesn’t start until 14 weeks. Since I’m the type of person who errs on the side of caution, I didn’t allow myself to get too excited about this milestone until today. I realize now that I have had the assumption that staying pregnant would be every bit as hard as getting pregnant. But here I am today, in the second tri, without so much as a drop of blood or a bad cramp this entire time. So, so grateful. Beyond words.

My work slacks are getting impossible to button/zip. Last fall, IVF bloat + sympathy food forced me to purchase some slacks one size larger so that I could be comfortable at work. Those are not even buttoning or zipping at this point! The Be Band from Target has become my friend. The company where I start working in a few weeks has a casual dress code, so I think a purchase in my near future will be a few pairs of maternity jeans. I may need them soon!

When I lay on my back and touch my belly, I can feel my uterus just below my belly button. It feels hard and seems to grow bigger throughout the day. I am obsessed with touching it because it’s my first physical connection to the miracle occurring inside of me. My ute has really grown in the past week–a week ago, I could barely feel it, and now it feels very pronounced. I am ecstatic that changes are happening to my body! I’m not “showing” yet, but I’m definitely heading in that direction.

My nausea may be subsiding a little bit, but I’m not sure. I still have to take Zofran at least once daily, in the evening. Most days I need it in the morning too. I still haven’t been able to pack my lunch for work or even blow my nose without gagging. I haven’t thrown up since Tuesday, so I’d like to think this is slight improvement. I’m still not eating as healthy as I would like because my main goal is just to keep food down, but I’m starting to crave veggies like broccoli and asparagus. I wasn’t even able to look at any food other than carbs a few weeks ago, so I know that I must be feeling at least a little better.  I still have tons of food aversions though. I am not complaining about my morning sickness–in fact, it’s been comforting in a way to have an actual constant symptom. Otherwise I think I would still be in disbelief that this is happening for us.

I wake up in the middle of the night STARVING, no matter how much I eat for dinner and despite the fact that I try to eat something (like a PB sandwich) right before bed. If I’m not nauseous during the day, then I’m famished–there is no in-between. Two nights ago I devoured a generous portion of grilled pork chop (sorry vegetarians), a huge serving of roasted broccoli, two slices of garlic bread, and a cup of pudding for dessert. And within a few hours, I was hungry again. My appetite is crazy when I’m actually hungry. I figure it’s my body’s way of telling me I need calories since I’ve been throwing up so much. At my last peri appointment at 12w, I had lost one pound total, but that’s really pretty good for all the throwing up I’ve been doing. When I have eaten, it’s unfortunately been primarily junk food as it was all I could stomach, so I’m fortunate not to have gained junk food weight. Since I’m feeling slightly better, my plan for next week is to incorporate more of the food groups into my day and actually pack my lunch!

Our next peri appointment is in 13 days. I’ll be 15w6d, so I’m crossing all fingers and toes that we’ll learn the genders. My “mother’s intuition” tells me that we’re expecting either a boy and a girl or two girls. My hubby swears that he doesn’t care, and he doesn’t want to make predictions. We will be so thrilled with whatever combination we get!

We now have all of our nursery furniture–our cribs, changing table, and dresser are currently sitting in boxes in the room that will become the nursery. We chose a glider/ottoman from a local store, and it should arrive when I’m around 20 weeks.  Our City Mini double stroller is even assembled in our basement. We have yet to buy crib mattresses and all the decor-type stuff like bedding and wall art, but obviously we have tons of time. It may be a little early for us to have made the purchases we have so far, but I thought it was best to shop while I felt up to it! Plus, spacing out the costly purchases will help us to budget.

That’s about it for now! I can’t wait to write about the results of our next ultrasound in a few weeks! : )

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12w3d Appointment (NT Scan)

Posted by auntiem10 on March 22, 2011

This morning we went back to our peri’s office for our 12-week appointment. First, we had a genetic counseling session to discuss our family histories and learn about different tests available to us (CVS, amnio, nuchal translucency [NT] scan, quad screen, etc.). We learned that twins can skew the results of the bloodwork from the NT scan, so we declined it. The lab measures certain hormones in my blood, and with a singleton, it can be assumed that a certain percentage of the hormone comes from me, and the other percentage comes from the baby. With two babies, there is no way to tell which percentage of the hormone is coming from each twin, so the chances of a false positive are more likely. We don’t want to panic over some false positive, so we decided that a quick NT scan would suffice. This was another moment in which I felt glad our embryos went through CCS testing. Sure, there is a 10% error rate possible, but that also means a 90% accuracy rate that both embryos have all chromosomes. The geneticist told us the CCS testing decreases our risk of having a baby with Down’s Syndrome at our age from 1/600 to 1/6,000. Amazing.

Next, we had an in-depth ultrasound. I asked the ultrasound tech to tell me immediately if she could see both heartbeats so I could relax a bit. When she moved the transducer over my abdomen, we could immediately see one baby moving around, and I breathed a sigh of relief when she declared both babies alive and well. The NT scan involves measuring the fat fold on the back of the neck. When there is a chromosomal issue, fluid from the baby collects here, so it is a marker for Down’s Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. Any number over 2 indicates that further testing is needed. This screening wasn’t even recommended for us, mostly because CCS testing was performed on our embryos, but I elected to have the fat folds measured for peace of mind. We couldn’t believe how much both babies had grown since our last in-depth ultrasound at 9w3d. They now have long legs to kick, hands and fingers, and facial profiles. We watched them kick and roll around in amazement and joy as the u/s tech was getting the measurements. Both fat folds measured in the normal range, so we were thankful to hear that. Both babies were measuring exactly the same–three days ahead at 12w6d, and Baby A’s heart rate was 158 and Baby B’s was 156. Things could not look more perfect as of right now. We received quite a few pictures, some of which I will upload soon!

I asked the u/s tech if she would be willing to venture a guess on their genders. It is way early, and the gender can either be obvious at this point or not obvious at all. We laughed when the u/s tech pulled up a live-action shot of Baby B’s butt and legs sticking up in the air. She really studied but didn’t come to a conclusive resolution. She said if she had to guess, she would say Girl. The other baby wasn’t cooperating at all, so no gender guess for him/her. We should find out at the next appointment though!

Lastly, we met quickly with the nurse practitioner to discuss my morning sickness (still present) and ask any questions we had. Then we were out of there. My next appointment is supposed to be in four weeks at around 16 weeks, but with changing jobs and health insurance companies, I may have to wait a week or two longer to make sure all of my ducks are in a row. I will also have a blood test at that point in time to rule out spina bifida.

Feeling so, so, so, so, so, so thankful today. Words are not enough to convey the happiness bubbling inside of my hubby and me. It really appears that we are having two babies. Wow! The road felt very long to us, and at times it was incredibly difficult, but now? Every day of waiting for the next step in my IVF or FET calendar, every shot jabbed into my stomach or hip, every pill swallowed and every dollar spent was one million percent worth it. I feel like I won the lottery, only better. And I thank you all for reading.

Posted in Pregnancy | 10 Comments »

12 Weeks! (And Last Baby Aspirin)

Posted by auntiem10 on March 19, 2011

I feel so incredibly grateful that we’ve made it to 12 weeks today! This morning I swallowed my final 81mg aspirin, so now the only medicine I will take daily are my prenatal vitamins, just like any other pregnant woman. (CCRM recommends that you take one 81mg aspirin/day until you hit the 12-week mark, FYI.) We are not sure why we’ve been so lucky that things have gone this smoothly for us, but we are thankful.

I’m still sick, but it’s subsiding slightly. My nighttime nausea is still very much present, but I feel better in the mornings and afternoons. I’ve found that I need to eat as soon as I feel actual hunger, or else I won’t be able to keep food down. I learned that lesson the hard way this morning when I elected to ignore my hungry belly and shower/dry my hair first. When I tried to eat, the food promptly came right back up. Gross! I just need to get better about carrying snacks with me and never letting my tummy get too empty.

We received our nursery furniture today. One changing table, one dresser, and two cribs are in their boxes in our computer room (which will become our nursery). The furniture won’t be put together for a long time, but it’s a relief to have this task crossed off the list already. We still need a glider, mattresses, bedding, and many other things, but the main pieces are here. We changed our minds about the used jogging stroller we had purchased from Craigslist, and decided to order a Baby Jogger City Mini Double instead. We decided this was a better investment because this stroller is narrower, allowing it to fit in doorways, and it’s also lightweight, so we can use it when we walk our doggies. The stroller should arrive on Wednesday, and every package in the mail is another reminder that this is really happening! It all still seems so shocking.

I was offered (and accepted) a new job last week! I start mid-April and am really excited about the opportunity. I can’t believe how everything seems to be falling into place in our lives. Of course, things will never be perfect, but I am happier right now than I’ve been in a very long time. I feel very content.

Tuesday is our next ultrasound and the NT scan. I hope things are still going well inside my ute, and I’m kind of nervous. I’ve considered renting a doppler, but my uterus is retroverted, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to pick up anything. No doctor has even used the doppler on me at this point, and I’m just afraid that I’ll panic if I can’t pick up the heartbeats. I’m thinking that if all is well Tuesday, I may finally relax a bit, but we will see. : )

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11w4d (First Baby-Related Dream)

Posted by auntiem10 on March 16, 2011

Last night I dreamed that we had two infant daughters. For whatever reason, I was sleeping upstairs in what will become the guest room, and the babies were sleeping in our living room downstairs–one in a recliner, and one on the couch. I crept out to look at them just as the baby in the recliner rolled over and fell onto the ground face-first. I ran downstairs and picked her up, but she was laughing about her fall. That was it. Weird! It was an amazingly vivid dream, and the first one I’ve had that involved genders. I wonder what my subconscious was trying to tell me?

Six more days until our NT scan. The longest I’ve managed to go between ultrasounds so far is eight days. I had one at 6w4d, 7w3d, 8w3d, 9w3d, and 10w4d. It’s been seven days since my last ultrasound, and I am feeling anxious once again. I have no reason to feel like this–I’ve had no spotting/bleeding, no cramping beyond what I think is my uterus expanding, and no other warning signs. But no matter how positive I am right after our scans, about a week later my brain starts getting out of control imagining that something is wrong. Will this ever end, I wonder? I’m guessing making it to the second trimester will help a little, and feeling movement will also help, but maybe these fears are just with me to stay.

I considered asking to be squeezed onto the schedule this week for a reassurance ultrasound, but then decided against it. I don’t want to take up appointment space without good reason, and I don’t have much longer to wait until our more in-depth scan next week. Waiting impatiently for next Tuesday!

Posted in Pregnancy | 6 Comments »

11w1d

Posted by auntiem10 on March 13, 2011

Tonight I finally posted ultrasound pics from my first peri appointment on March 1st. You can view them here, if you want. I had to take pictures of the pictures that were given to me, so they are grainy at best. I’m not sure if this doctor’s office will permit us to take photos of the ultrasound screen at our NT scan on the 22nd, so it may be grainy pictures from here on out. We will see!

Posted in Pregnancy | 4 Comments »

Still Here (10w5d)

Posted by auntiem10 on March 10, 2011

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last blog entry. Morning sickness (more like all day sickness) is kicking my behind. I am truly grateful for it because I’m fully cognizant that I could be sitting here right now with another failed cycle burdening me, and I am so thankful to have been afforded this outcome. I always tried to imagine what m/s would feel like, and I pictured it as similar to having a hangover. And in a way, that’s a pretty accurate description. The worst time for me is in the evenings, after dinner. I get a bad, metallic taste in my mouth. Before long, my stomach is turning and I can either stay awake and feel miserable, or elect an early bedtime since my stomach doesn’t hurt when I’m not awake. I’m tired too, so the early bedtime sounds awesome. Because I can’t eat much in the evenings, I wake up the next morning automatically nauseous. I’ve tried eating food when I wake up, and I can’t keep it down. Hopefully this will subside in the next few weeks.

For the first half of this week, I was feeling an achiness in my uterine area. I’ve read that this is the point during which my uterus hits a major growth spurt, so I tried not to worry. But Tuesday night, I was hit with pretty intense aches while trying to sleep. I called the peri’s office yesterday morning to see if this is normal, and they think all is fine but suggested I just come in for a peace of mind u/s. They used a very low-tech portable machine, so there was no measuring the fetuses or listening to their heartbeats or printing any pictures, but the grainy picture allowed us to see both of their hearts and both of them bobbing around in their gestational sacs. Baby A was particularly spastic, bouncing around from one side to the other! I felt a lot better knowing that the achiness was not affecting their welfare. Must just be growing pains.

Saturday will mark 11 weeks, so I’m only a few weeks away from the second trimester. I can’t believe it! The nurse yesterday told me that I’ll likely begin to feel them move around 16 weeks, which is really only a little over five weeks away. Crazy! Time seems like it’s on hyperspeed. Every week brings me a tiny bit of extra reassurance that things are likely going to be okay. We even (gulp) ordered baby furniture today, because we found a great deal and worried that it wouldn’t exist later. I’m sure we won’t set anything up until we’re much further along, but I would describe the purchase as exciting, scary, and ultimately surreal. Two cribs, a dresser, and a changing table–all bought specifically for these babies we dreamed about. Amazing. We also bought a really nice used jogging stroller last weekend from someone whose twins had outgrown it. Our two hyper terriers need daily walks when the weather permits, and jogging strollers are supposed to be better on sidewalks/curbs/etc. We plan to also register for a front-to-back double stroller–probably one of those snap and go ones, since the jogging stroller will likely be too wide for public doorways etc. Thinking about these things still blows my mind.

Our next appointment is on March 22nd, the NT scan–12 days away. My DH hasn’t been able to attend the last two u/s because of work and school commitments, so I can’t wait for him to see how much they have grown! I still need to post the pictures from our first peri appointment. I had to take photos of the photos they gave us, and now I just need to load them on my laptop so I can post them here.

Thanks for reading!

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First Peri Visit (9w3d)

Posted by auntiem10 on March 1, 2011

I had a marathon first perinatology visit today! Everything is good with our twins.

After registering at the hospital, I filled out some paperwork and had an ultrasound scan–my first abdominal scan of this pregnancy! The vagcam will come back at around 18 weeks when they start cervical checks, but today was a great reprieve. Twin A measured 9w3d with a heart rate of 160 bpm. Twin B measured 9w4d with a heart rate of 171 bpm. The ultrasonographer commented right away that my uterus is about to pop, which I guess means I will start showing soon? She also confirmed that they are dichorionic-diamniotic twins, meaning each embryo has its own blood supply and amniotic sac. This is the lowest-risk grouping of twins–very good news for us. The u/s tech was extremely nice and zoomed in on each twin so that we could observe them wiggling around for several minutes and see their hearts pumping away. They looked like they were on a waterbed moving, if that makes sense. Their movements were so smooth and graceful.

Then I had to provide a urine sample, and afterwards I met with the nursing manager so that she could provide welcoming info about the practice. After that, I met with one of the group’s perinatologists for quite a while. We discussed things like my hypothyroidism, the bone disease that runs in my family, my desired delivery method, how much weight I should gain (35-45 lbs! whoa!), etc. It was a very informative meeting.

Next, I met with the nurse practitioner, who was SO nice. She made me feel so at ease about my anxiety. She reassured me that many patients who visit their high-risk practice are more nervous than a typical pregnant woman, and they will squeeze me in anytime I need a little extra reassurance. She said she doesn’t really believe that stress harms a developing baby, but that anxiety is counterproductive and can be easily relieved with a quick ultrasound. She cleared us for s-.e-.x, although I’m still holding out until the second trimester.

The last step was to have blood drawn at a nearby lab. I was starting to feel very lightheaded and ill by this time… I hadn’t realized my appointment would last so long, and I didn’t bring any snacks to eat. The nurse gave me some crackers, but I had to run to the bathroom before I could get anything down. Yuck! The nurse said they believe morning sickness is caused partially by low blood sugar and advised me to eat some cookies from the hospital cafe, and I did feel better after that. They called in more Zofran for me, thank goodness. I had my blood drawn and was finally on my way.

My next appointment is in three weeks, unless I feel the need for a quick reassuring ultrasound sooner (which is very possible). I’ll be 12 weeks 3 days by then, so they will do the NT scan. Both twins should really be moving around by then, and I already can’t wait! I’m feeling incredibly fortunate and grateful today to have seen those tiny beings thriving in my belly. I am rooting for all of you who are still waiting to see the same magic.

In the next few days, I will try to take pictures of the printed photos the u/s tech gave us so that I can post them on here. Hopefully they will be clear enough to share!

Posted in Pregnancy | 8 Comments »

Pomp and Circumstance!

Posted by auntiem10 on February 28, 2011

I am an official CCRM graduate! Wow! We started this journey with our One Day Work-Up on April 7, 2010. And a little less than 11 months later, here we are. The path we walked was long and paved with more than a few speedbumps, but we made it. And we have two little growing humans to show for it. Amazing!!!

My estradiol level today is 2387, and my progesterone is 41.3. I am very happy with these hormone levels and am excited for our first perinatology appointment tomorrow morning. And even more exciting is the thought of our future as a family of four (or six if you count our two spoiled doggies)! I had faith that CCRM was capable of working miracles, but I can’t say I ever really imagined us as a success story until it happened. We still have a ways to go, but the future is looking brighter than it ever has. And we have our nurse, Tonie (who is amazing), Dr. Surrey, and the fantastic embryology lab to thank for this happiness brimming in our hearts.

Posted in Pregnancy | 11 Comments »

On the Brink (9w1d)

Posted by auntiem10 on February 27, 2011

Tomorrow I should graduate from CCRM! On Friday my hormone levels still looked good. Estradiol was 2759 (should be >300) and Progesterone was 29.5 (should be >20 since I was injecting PIO). I was instructed to remove the last Vivelle patch, so now the only thing I’m taking is 81 mg aspirin. My last hormone check should be tomorrow (if my local clinic received the orders, which I won’t know until the morning). My progesterone did dip quite a bit since my last check–it went from 46 last Tuesday to 29.5 on Friday. However, my nurse reassured me that everything was fine and that as long as the level stays above 20, I don’t need to worry.

I had my first barfing-in-my-car-while-driving-down-the-road experience on Friday. Definitely NOT the highlight of my life. I had just eaten lunch and had been dealing with a funky stomach all day. I ran an errand and ended up feeling very suddenly ill while heading home. I had nowhere to pull over, so I was forced to continue driving as I was getting sick. Luckily, my mom had given me a package of small trash bags as a stocking stuffer for Christmas, and I managed to avoid getting sick all over myself. It was still very disgusting, though! Sorry for grossing anyone out.

Overall, I am feeling pretty icky lately, but I also feel very lucky to even be in my shoes. Tuesday is our first appointment at the perinatologist’s office, and I’m hoping we’ll get an ultrasound so we can see those two hearts beating again.

I’ve been wondering what I’ll say to my nurse tomorrow, if I do graduate. How do you thank someone who has provided you with such an incredible gift? CCRM has completely changed the course of our lives, for the better. “Thank you” just seems so inadequate, yet I’m guessing they are used to blubbering women trying to produce the right words. My heart is just overflowing with happiness and gratitude, and I wish there were words to express what I’m feeling inside.

Posted in Pregnancy | 7 Comments »

Yesterday’s Hormone Levels

Posted by auntiem10 on February 23, 2011

I am very nearly weaned off all the FET meds! My hormone levels continue to be well above CCRM’s threshold. Here are the results of yesterday’s blood draw at 8w3d:

Estradiol = 1907 (just needs to be >300)
Progesterone = 46 (just needs to be >20 since I’ve been injecting PIO)

With these latest results, I’m officially DONE injecting PIO! My bruised hips cannot thank CCRM enough for this decision. : ) Of course, the soreness and bruising are worth it, but I’m happy that my body is now producing enough progesterone to avoid any more injections.

And, I’m down to only one Vivelle patch every other day. Yesterday morning I placed two patches on my body, and my nurse told me to go ahead and rip one off after reading my results! I’ll stick on one patch Thursday morning, and hopefully that will be it.

I go back Friday morning for one last blood draw. If everything looks good, then I’ll graduate from CCRM just a few days before my first perinatology appointment next Tuesday! I’ll continue taking 81 mg baby aspirin until I reach 12 weeks (March 19th), but I’ll be done with all other FET meds.

After all that waiting and waiting and waiting in 2010, we are finally on the brink of graduation day. Somebody please pinch me!

Posted in Pregnancy | 7 Comments »

Third Ultrasound (8w3d)

Posted by auntiem10 on February 22, 2011

This morning’s ultrasound was perfect! Both twins measured one day ahead at 8 weeks 4 days, and their hearts were fluttering away at 169 bpm and 174 bpm. For each twin, we could make out a head and body, little nubs for arms and legs, spines, the yolk sacs, umbilical cords, and amniotic sac. Their growth since last week was incredible! We even got to see a little right arm twitch from one twin. Maybe by our first perinatology appointment next Tuesday, they will both be moving around a bit!

I posted pictures here, if you want to look! Every week I leave our ultrasound appointment and find myself feeling so incredibly grateful for this amazing new development in our lives. I’m thanking my lucky stars right now!

Posted in Pregnancy | 13 Comments »

One Step Closer (7w6d)

Posted by auntiem10 on February 18, 2011

This morning I had my blood drawn yet again to check my estradiol and progesterone levels.

Estradiol = 1721 (just needed to be >300)
Progesterone = 41 (just needed to be >20 since I’m injecting PIO)

Everything looks great! Now I get to reduce down to two Vivelle patches every other day, and only 1/2 cc of PIO every other day. It’s very reassuring to know that my body is taking over and starting to churn out hormones without supplementation. I’m guessing that as long as my body continues to cooperate, I’ll be weaned completely off the FET meds by this time next week!

My next check is early Tuesday morning. Our 8w3d ultrasound is at 7:45 a.m., and I’ll have my blood drawn either before or after. I’m already anxious to see those two little hearts beating again! I am still in amazement that this is really happening for us.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Posted in Pregnancy | 9 Comments »

Second Ultrasound

Posted by auntiem10 on February 16, 2011

SIL’s beta yesterday ended up being a little over 1,000, so she is apparently pregnant. Her first u/s is scheduled for the last day of this month. She told me her last AF was on 1/13 (our transfer day, ironically), so I think she’s about four weeks along. I’m finding the silver lining by reminding myself that at least she won’t be feeling jealous or resentful toward me for the next seven months, because she has her own good news. This turn of events makes me even more thankful that our FET has been successful, because I’m not sure I could have lived through SIL’s pregnancy if our cycle had failed. I am feeling incredibly grateful today.

Yesterday after that stunning news, I started feeling very anxious about what was going on inside my uterus. I called my local monitoring office, and they were able to move up my appointment by a day, so my DH and I went in there yesterday at 1:00. We were at 7w3d yesterday. Both hearts were beating away at 161 and 149 bpm, and they both measured right on target (one at 7w3d and the other at 7w2d). I posted pictures here, if you want to look. Once I saw the heartbeats, I was able to relax a little bit. Later I asked my CCRM nurse if a heart rate of 149 is slow for 7 weeks 3 days, and she said they just look for anything between 100-200 bpm. She said I could have drank juice beforehand, and the heart rates could have flip-flopped. The much more important indicator is how closely they measure as compared to the weeks of pregnancy, and all was perfect there. Whew. I joked to my DH that the embryo with the slower heart rate is probably going to be just like him, laid-back and relaxed, and the embryo with the faster heart rate is going to be just like neurotic, anxious old me. : ) My mom is convinced that the difference in heart rates means one is a boy and one is a girl.

They also saw no evidence of the weird cyst-like mass that was seen at our first ultrasound. The RE said it could have been a fold in the gestational sac, or a portion of the lining that was positioned strangely. Whatever it was, it wasn’t seen yesterday, and it wasn’t an identical twin. Relief!

My hormone levels are also fabulous, even after weaning off Endometrin and Estrace starting last Wednesday. Yesterday, my estradiol level was 1498 (just needed to be >300), and my progesterone level was 41 (just needed to be >20 since I’m injecting PIO). These high numbers mean my body is taking over the responsibility of providing a hormone supply to our embryos. Now I can start weaning more medicine–My nurse instructed me to inject 1 cc of PIO every other day now (instead of every day), and I can reduce from four Vivelle patches to three patches every other day. I’ll have my hormone levels rechecked on Friday, and my next ultrasound is next Tuesday at 8w3d. This will be my final u/s with the local RE before moving on to the perinatologist group on March 1st. And I’m probably only about two weeks from graduating from CCRM–Crazy!!!

Posted in Pregnancy | 9 Comments »

Couldn’t Make it Up if I Tried

Posted by auntiem10 on February 15, 2011

This morning, I decided to stay home from work and rest. I received a call from my SIL (the one I wrote about yesterday), but I was feeling yucky and decided not to answer. She and I work for the same company (although in different buildings), so I figured she was calling to see why I wasn’t at work. A few hours later, I received a call from my MIL. I did answer that call because I thought perhaps they were worried that something was wrong. During that conversation, I found out that my SIL–the same one who gave me a guilt trip yesterday–had taken a home pregnancy test last night, and it was a BFP. She took the day off work and went for her blood test and is currently waiting on the results. Apparently she’s already throwing up and was wondering about which vitamin CCRM recommends to help with morning sickness (Vitamin B-6, for those interested). I had mentioned this on Sunday after being asked by a family member how I’m combating m/s.

Um, can you believe this turn of events?!!! My head is still reeling. I admit that I am a little bummed, because I was selfishly hoping that my DH and I could have the pregnancy attention for a while. We may never have this time again, and now I fear that we will be overshadowed. Plus, once again I feel the jealousy that comes when others in my life accomplish this feat so easily. (And yes, I consider one month of Metformin a pretty easy means to an end.) I do not wish a CCRM-like struggle on anyone, but jealousy and resentment toward fertile women is the scar that infertility has placed upon me. I am not proud of it, believe me. 

Wow, what an amazing change of events. I couldn’t make this up if I tried!

Posted in Random | 7 Comments »

7w2d

Posted by auntiem10 on February 14, 2011

We had a great time shocking family and close friends with our news this weekend. : ) On Saturday we traveled a few hours to my hometown to tell my mom, sister, grandpa, aunt and her family, uncle and his family, some cousins, and two of my closest friends. We consider all of these people “core” members of our inner circle, so we wanted to share despite the fact that it’s still pretty early in our pregnancy, and we’re not yet ready to be totally open about it.

My sister had the most volatile reaction–she began crying hysterically (happy tears), to the point that my BIL and niece ran out to see what was wrong! She is already discussing baby showers and gender predictions–yikes. We are really just focused on getting through the first trimester, but it’s neat of her to be so excited. She’s been waiting quite a while to be an aunt!

My mom had a funny reaction–we bought her a Valentine’s Day card and taped an u/s picture inside. The card addressed “Grandma and Grandpa,” so that threw her off at first. She said, “Grandma and Grandpa?!” and I said, “Just open it!” She slowly processed the u/s photo but still didn’t read the part where we had signed the card “From your twin grandchildren.” I had to direct her to read it and after a few seconds, she yelled out, “Twins!!!” She cried and hugged us, and it was just a great moment–the moment for which we waited for so long.

Everyone else seemed shocked! My two close friends were both teary-eyed and thrilled for us. We expressed our wishes to keep this news quiet until we’re out of the first trimester, and everybody is respecting that so far. Saturday was a wonderful day.

On Sunday, we drove 20 minutes to my in-laws’ house. My MIL and FIL have known about our news since the day of beta #1, but my hubby’s siblings and grandma have been in the dark because we wanted to confirm heartbeats first. We gave his grandma a V-Day card in which my hubby had written inside, “P.S. (Auntie Em) and I are having twins.” She glanced at the card and thanked us, but she obviously hadn’t read the inscription. My hubby told her to read what he had written, and she read it to herself and got very emotional. He finally asked her to read it out loud so everyone else could hear. His siblings were shocked! I grabbed the u/s photo from my purse, and we passed it around. It was a great moment; however…

At some point after our announcement, I realized that my SIL was very upset. I am not referring to the SIL who just delivered a baby last week. I haven’t written about this on here, but my other SIL is at the very beginning stages of IF treatment. She’s been trying to conceive for several years but just began seeking treatment in the last six months or so. Her OB prescribed Clomid last fall, and she went through several unmonitored cycles without ever ovulating (as far as she could tell). Late in the year, she finally established herself as a patient at a fertility clinic, and the RE prescribed her Metformin. Currently she’s waiting for AF after taking prometrium, and then her protocol involves taking Clomid from CD 3-7, and then having an u/s on CD 12 to see if she ovulates. The next step up would be an IUI. So as you can see, she’s at the very tip of the iceberg with treatment options.

I spoke with my MIL a week ago and asked her if we should alert my SIL beforehand so she wouldn’t be blindsided by our announcement. My SIL is so quiet, I just can’t always figure her out, so I sought advice from the person who would know her best–her own mother. My MIL thought SIL would be just fine with our announcement. She predicted that my SIL might briefly think “I wish it was us,” but that she wouldn’t be angry or anything. I also took into account the fact that SIL was SO thrilled when my other SIL announced her pregnancy last Father’s Day. She talked incessantly about our impending niece throughout 2010 and never displayed any sadness about it. Based on my MIL’s advice and my SIL’s happy reaction to last year’s pg announcement, I went along with the plan to surprise SIL along with everyone else last night. But when I saw my SIL’s very-clearly-upset expression while everyone else was talking excitedly, my heart began to hurt. I had done the exact same thing to this SIL that happened to me last year–I blindsided her.

This morning SIL admitted that our announcement hurt her deeply last night–she cried all the way home from her parents’ house. I find myself intermittently feeling angry, hurt, and terribly guilty. I have endured many pregnancy announcements in the past few years and understand the pain that comes along with it. But why wasn’t she upset with my BIL and SIL last year, who tried for only one month before their BFP? She had been TTC then for 3+ years already, even if she hadn’t yet moved to an RE. Why doesn’t she take into account how much effort went into this outcome that we achieved, now that she knows what it took? Why does she make it seem as though she’s been through soooo much, when she is only at the tip of the iceberg? Why did she have to give me the guilt trip she gave me this morning? I am just hurt and feel so guilty.

I did what I could do. I apologized profusely (for what though??? I’m not sure). I told her that we all think her time is just around the corner, even though in my head I’m not sure since anything less than IVF never produced good results for us. Then I called my hubby at lunch and sobbed. Last year, I cried on my way home almost every time we visited his parents and got bombarded with baby talk. So to know that I have/will be causing his sister the same pain, I can hardly bear it. He just reminded me that finally, after this long wait and all this hard work, it’s our turn to be happy, and we shouldn’t let anyone ruin that. He said we shouldn’t feel guilty because we did seek advice about how best to spread our news, and we weren’t intentionally rubbing it in her face. He is right, but I’m still just so sad to have caused SIL any sadness. I am so incredibly thankful for where we are today, but this part of announcing our news was not easy!

Posted in Pregnancy, Struggles | 7 Comments »

Starting the Weaning Process

Posted by auntiem10 on February 11, 2011

On Wednesday, my hormone levels looked great:

Estrogen = 1272 (needs to be >300)
Progesterone = 36.3 (needs to be >20 because I’m injecting PIO daily)

So the next step is to start weaning from all the FET medications and allow my hormone supply to start supporting the pregnancy. These are the medications I’ve been taking since transfer day:

  • 81 mg baby aspirin daily
  • 2 mg Estradiol pill daily (generic Estrace) – for estrogen
  • 1 CC injection of Progesterone in Oil, daily – for progesterone
  • 4 Vivelle patches, replaced every other day – for estrogen
  • 1 Endometrin suppository nightly – for progesterone
  • Prenatal vitamin nightly at bedtime

The nurse at CCRM told me that they wean one form of estrogen support and one form of progesterone support at a time. So for the next week, I get to drop the daily Estradiol pill and the nightly Endometrin suppository. Next Wednesday, I’ll have my blood drawn again (and another ultrasound), and based on those results, I’ll continue to wean. My numbers may dip slightly as my body works to become the sole source of hormonal support for our twins (how weird is that to type?!), but everything is fine as long as the numbers stay above the threshold of >300 and >20. I believe they would like to have me totally weaned off the meds by 9 or 10 weeks. So that is the plan.

This weekend we are planning to surprise my mom, sister, two best friends, grandpa, and aunt on Saturday with our news. Then on Sunday, we’re planning to announce to my DH’s siblings and grandma. They will all be shocked, since we kept our cycle a total secret. We will only be seven weeks on Saturday, so we won’t be spreading the news too far quite yet, but we are excited to share with those who mean the most to us!

Posted in Pregnancy | 11 Comments »

Twice Blessed (First U/S Ment.)

Posted by auntiem10 on February 9, 2011

A few weeks ago, I proclaimed January 22nd to be the best day of our lives, because we received our first-ever definitively positive beta. And today, February 9th, is the new best day of our lives, because we got to see this…

And we got to see and hear two perfect, strong little heartbeats…

One baby measured 6w5d and had a heartbeat of 135 bpm, which is perfect…

The other baby measured 6w2d and had a heartbeat of 125, which is fabulous as well…

There was one little area of concern, although it will likely turn out to be nothing. My local RE spent a lot of time checking out the first baby, over and over again, without saying a word. Finally I said, “Is there something wrong?” He explained that he had been looking carefully because directly to the left of the first baby, there was a small cystic mass of some sort. He was concerned that this could be an identical twin, although he saw no heartbeat or anything. He concluded that it’s likely nothing, but I will definitely need to come back next week or so to rule it out. Um, for anyone not counting, that would mean three babies. A little scary, especially since my DH is a triplet and has a little trauma from his rough start to life (super premature, collapsed lung that required emergency surgery, etc.). Another possibility is that the mass is part of the endometrium that has just fallen away a little bit. We will watch this very closely.

Based on how far along we are today (6w4d), our due date for a singleton would have been September 30th. With twins, it will likely be several weeks earlier, so we are looking at early- to mid-September if both twins stick around for the long haul. We feel so amazingly, incredibly blessed today.

Those of you who voted twins in my poll were correct! : ) This is truly a miraculous day for us, and we thank you for reading along and sharing in our joy!

Posted in Pregnancy | 35 Comments »

Nerves Nerves Nerves

Posted by auntiem10 on February 8, 2011

I am so, so nervous about our ultrasound tomorrow morning. I’ve been attempting to stay positive, but the fear creeps in and overwhelms me. If you would have asked me at what point I would start to feel a little more reassured that this process worked, I would have told you that I would feel pretty good after Beta #2. Now I know that’s a total crock! : ) I don’t think the worrying ever ends for some of us.

In my head, I’m continually reviewing everything that gives me hope that we will see a heartbeat or two tomorrow: my HCG level doubled easily and then skyrocketed to 11K+ at 23dp0, we transferred two embryos instead of just one, we transferred CCS-normal embryos which decreases the risk of miscarriage, I’ve seen absolutely no spotting or bleeding of any kind throughout this entire process, I’m nauseous (but not today which freaks me out), and staying up until 10 p.m. seems like a chore these days. These thoughts revolve round and round my head, but I still worry that somehow, we will end up on the wrong side of the statistics. Please let tomorrow get here quickly!

Yesterday our niece was born almost three weeks early. I have written at length here about struggling tremendously with my SIL’s pregnancy, since my DH and I started treatments first and therefore, in my head, should have had the first grandchild. The pain of that day last year when we found out the news still cuts me like a knife, because I literally felt like the wind had been taken out of my sails. I had never felt so defeated, even though conception is clearly not a competition and my SIL is the world’s sweetest woman. As the months progressed and my SIL’s belly swelled, I accepted the idea of coming in second, and I took comfort in the hope that this IVF cycle would turn out well and we would see a heartbeat before our niece arrived toward the end of this month. I was sort of counting on seeing the heartbeat before welcoming their baby into the world, honestly. Even with our apparent BFP from this IVF cycle, I still struggled yesterday. On the way to the hospital, I cried to my DH that I felt like such a jerk for continuing to feel jealous and a bit resentful that they were first and had it so easy. I wish I could just get over it! Our BFP still does not keep me from feeling resentment toward those women who conceive effortlessly the first month of trying, like my SIL. There is just a bitterness in my heart that I don’t want to be there, but it is there. And I’m owning up to it in the hopes that you will all understand.

That baby is beautiful, though. I haven’t held her yet because I’m still recovering from my sinus infection and don’t want to spread bacteria, but I’ve watched my DH dreamily hold her and admire her tiny fingernails, wrinkly feet, and long fingers as she emits little squeaks. He told me last night that holding her gives him great hope for our ultrasound tomorrow. Please, please, please just let us see a heartbeat in the morning!

Posted in Pregnancy, Struggles | 10 Comments »

6w1d

Posted by auntiem10 on February 6, 2011

So far, so good over here. Only three more days until our first ultrasound! I’ve been walking around singing “All I want for V-Day are two heartbeats, two heartbeats, two heartbeats” (to the tune of “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth). : ) One heartbeat would be absolutely perfect, too, but the more we stare at the picture of our embryos on transfer day, the more we hope that they both stuck around. We shall see very soon!

Morning sickness made its first appearance in the form of a topsy-turvy stomach this past Thursday (5w5d). On Friday, I felt even worse. I barely ate anything all day because all food made my stomach turn, and when we went out for dinner (Chinese food), I had to pick out all the chicken in my chicken fried rice and ended up leaving a lot of food on my plate. Yesterday, I got sick twice and moped around all day. It seems that I can’t eat anything salty, with any meat except chicken, or anything spicy–so bland foods it is. I’m not complaining at all–I’m thrilled to have this symptom! I’ve also been dealing with a pretty awful sinus infection since last Wednesday. I went to urgent care yesterday and was prescribed an antibiotic and anti-nausea pills, since the physician was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to hold down the antibiotic. Hopefully the antibiotic will knock out the sinus infection this week. I’m hoping my body is just way too busy growing a human or two and doesn’t have time to mess with my silly sinus infection. I’ll gladly be sick for the next 7.5 months if it means things are going well in my ute!

I’ll update Wednesday as soon as I get to work with the results of our ultrasound. Despite this newly developed morning sickness and high hormone levels, it is still unreal to think that we may see a heartbeat or two on Wednesday. This is most certainly unchartered territory!

Posted in Pregnancy | 11 Comments »

Treatment Recap Links

Posted by auntiem10 on February 3, 2011

Below I’ve added links to my recaps of the major components of an IVF cycle with CCS testing, Depot Lupron treatment, and an FET. I thought having these links in one spot might provide a clearer picture of what to expect from cycling at CCRM, but you can also click one of the Categories on the right pane of this page to see more.

Our One-Day Work-Up Experience

Instructions for shipping CD 3 bloodwork to CCRM

A recap of all test results, at the ODWU and locally

My IVF calendar

My Egg Retrieval Experience

Our Day 6 Biopsy Report

Our CCS Results

My FET Calendar

My Frozen Embryo Transfer Experience

Posted in Chromosome Testing (CCS), Egg Retrieval, Embryo Transfer, FET, FET Calendars, IVF Calendars, IVF Take Two, Testing | 8 Comments »

Vote in the Poll!

Posted by auntiem10 on February 1, 2011

In the left pane, I added a poll. Please vote for whether you think we’ll see one heartbeat or two at our first ultrasound! I look forward to everyone’s feedback while we await our first ultrasound on February 9th at 6 weeks 4 days. : )

To recap: Beta #1 was 278 at 9dp5dt, Beta #2 was 751 at 11dp5dt, and Beta #3 was 11,050 at 18dp5dt.

Posted in Pregnancy | 6 Comments »

5w2d Blood Test Results

Posted by auntiem10 on January 31, 2011

My hormone levels looked great today!

Progesterone = 28.57 (should be >20 because I’m injecting PIO)
Estrogen = 626 (should be >300)
HCG = 11,050!

I requested a recheck of my HCG level because I found myself feeling very anxious this past Friday. I never knew how difficult it would be to stay positive during the 2.5-week-wait between the second HCG check and the first ultrasound. I don’t really feel different yet at 5 weeks 2 days, and it still seems so farfetched to think that this actually worked. All of my doubts and fears caught up with me on Friday, so I asked my nurse to allow me to have my HCG level rechecked along with my other hormone levels this morning. I also bought home pregnancy tests and tested to see the very dark second line! My nurse cautioned me that since we hadn’t been measuring HCG every 48 hours, today’s result may not tell me a lot. Plus, eventually HCG levels stop doubling and sort of plateau. So I definitely wasn’t expecting it to increase from 751 last Monday to over 11,000 today! That is a doubling time of 43.31 hours since last Monday (and we want a doubling time of 48 hours or less ideally), so I am really happy about that. Hearing that number was just what I need to get through the next nine days until our first scan!

Originally I was supposed to have my blood drawn again next Monday to recheck the hormone levels, but my nurse said we can just wait until Ultrasound Day since everything looked so great today. She also faxed orders for the ultrasound, so I can schedule it tomorrow! Exciting!

Posted in Pregnancy | 9 Comments »

The Elusive Second Line

Posted by auntiem10 on January 27, 2011

I have added a separate page on this blog in order to share pregnancy-related pictures. You can check it out here or just click the “Pregnancy Stuff” tab at the top of the page. So far all I’ve posted are the positive home pregnancy tests I’ve taken since our first beta this past Saturday, but I plan to share milestone ultrasounds and that sort of thing assuming things continue smoothly. I don’t want to post these types of things on my main blog page because I want to give readers the option of seeing that sort of thing. I definitely experienced days during which others’ positive tests brought me down, so hopefully this will be a way that I can still share and yet be sensitive.

Nothing much is new with me this week. On Monday, I’ll have my progesterone and estrogen re-tested to make sure it’s within normal limits. It’s still too early for morning sickness, but I’ve had a gross taste in my mouth this week, and my appetite is very off. I’m just not hungry and salty foods (which I usually love) are bothersome to me. I’m very thirsty as well, and I was up all night with heartburn after eating pizza for dinner last night. I’ve had a few mild headaches (which I read are hormone-induced), and I have been going to bed much earlier–passing out while reading by like 10:00 p.m. I am thrilled about these changes to my body! We still have 13 days until our first ultrasound, so we’re just kind of in a holding pattern until then.

Assuming we see a heartbeat or two on Feb. 9th, I plan to lessen the number of weekly blog entries that I write. I always intended for this to be a CCRM treatment blog and not a pregnancy blog. I will still write about milestone days, but I won’t write about day-in-day-out pregnancy stuff. My hope is that CCRMers will find this blog in the future, learn from it, and gain hope from our story.

Posted in Pregnancy | 11 Comments »

So How Far Along Am I?

Posted by auntiem10 on January 25, 2011

Previously, I wrote incorrectly that Day 1 of my last cycle was also Day 1 of pregnancy. AF showed up on December 22, so I had been thinking that I was 4 weeks 3 days pregnant on Beta Day and 4 weeks 5 days pregnant on the day of Beta #2.

So I was surprised yesterday when my CCRM nurse mentioned that I was 4 weeks 2 days pregnant as of yesterday. I’ve never been through an FET before, since we had nothing to freeze with IVF #1, so I had to e-mail her and ask her to explain. Here is what she wrote:

The length of pregnancy is all determined by the age of the embryo.  On the date of egg retrieval we count that as the day of ovulation (which during a typical month is usually two weeks after the start of a period or 2 weeks along in the 40 weeks of pregnancy).  We froze the embryo at the blast stage which is then considered 2 weeks and 5 days pregnant, so on the day of transfer we considered you 2 weeks and 5 days.  9 days later (the date of your first HCG) you were 4 weeks pregnant and today you are 4 weeks and 2 days.”

I thought this information might help those of you preparing for an FET who haven’t previously been through one. Maybe everyone else already knows this, but it was new to me, so I thought I would share!

Posted in Pregnancy | 7 Comments »

Beta #2

Posted by auntiem10 on January 24, 2011

I just heard from my CCRM nurse… Beta #2 is 751!!!!!

This is a doubling time of 33.48 hours. Wow!!! I can’t believe I am actually pregnant. It just feels surreal. I asked my nurse her opinion about whether there is a singleton or twins growing in my ute right now, and she told me that it’s really hard to say because she’s seen either scenario with these HCG levels. One baby or two doesn’t matter at all to us; we are just thrilled that the strong HCG number means hopefully at least one embryo is settling in!

Next step is to have my blood drawn again the next few Mondays to check my estrogen and progesterone levels. Then our first ultrasound will occur on February 9th!

Dr. Surrey also called me today to say congratulations. He said everything looks great but obviously, we’re not out of the woods yet. He reminded me to take it easy and told me in a funny way to avoid s.e.x (“You shouldn’t do much more than kiss ‘DH’ right now”).

We told my DH’s mom and dad on Saturday. This blog is a huge outlet for my excitement over the news, but my DH doesn’t really have an outlet, so I figured it was only fair that he got to tell someone! We are confident that they will keep our secret just between the four of us until we’re ready to announce to his siblings and grandma. My family cannot keep a secret, ha ha, so I will wait to tell them for at least a few more weeks, maybe longer. My MIL was overjoyed. I told her that twins are a possibility, and she looked mindboggled. She is the mother of triplets, so I think she was excited about the possibility of twin grandchildren. She and my FIL teared up and both acted so excited! We’ve kept all family members completely in the dark about everything having to do with CCRM, so it felt great to let it out. Secrets weigh 1000 lbs.

On Saturday afternoon, I finally POAS and saw my first-ever definitive second line. After IVF #1, we saw a ghost line, the kind where you had to squint to even see it, but otherwise I’ve never seen a positive of my very own. I won’t post it here because I want to be respectful, but it was an amazing sight!

Thank you all so much for the congrats on Saturday and for following our story! I hope we can provide hope to others considering CCRM.

Posted in Dr Surrey, FET, Pregnancy | 31 Comments »