Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quick Hello (and yet another sad story)

First, thanks again for all of your comments. I've been a bit busy and once again have neglected my blog reading /posting and hope catch up by the weekend. (Seems like I say this ever few posts, doesn't it?)

I did read a few blogs this morning and once again, came across horrible news!! Please visit and offer your support. She just lost her twins at 23 weeks. :(

It seems like I'm posting a link to a very sad story every few posts too. Is it me or does it seem like there is a higher incidence of tragedies for those who have struggled with infertility, once they do become pregnant? I know there are many wonderful stories out there, but I don't read that many blogs and this just seems to keep happening! I guess I don't really read pregnancy blogs that aren't related to infertility though. It's just so sad.

I'll be back shortly....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Things I've Been Thinking About

Some blogs I have read in the past day or so has reminded me of a few things I've been wondering about on and off. So, if you read this and think 'Hey, this sounds like something I just mentioned in my blog!' well, yeah, I probably read your post and it got me thinking.

1. Reading IF blogs that have announced BFPs.
2. Posting in other blogs.
3. The feelings of a failed IVF cycle.
4. Hindsight - should I have gotten pregnant in my 20's?

1. Reading IF blogs that have announced BFPs. Understandably, there are mixed emotions when you see your blogging buddies, especially ones cycling at the same time as you, receive BFPs, and you don't. I've been there, though maybe not totally, because my failed cycles were IUIs and perhaps the feeling would be different/even worse if it was an IVF cycle. I don't know...though I did experience, for half of a day, what it must feel like - see number 3. Anyway, at one point last fall, I just stayed away from the whole blogging thing, thus the lack of posting here from Nov-Dec. When I was around, I did keep up with some BFP blogs, but I have to admit, it was hard. And I felt guilty at the time about it, because I was happy for all of those women, but yes, I was jealous. I say I felt guilty 'at the time' because now, currently being on that 'BFP list' I don't blame anyone a darn bit if they stay away from here, which is why I'm not surprised that most of my readers are now gone. I'm amazed that anyone is still reading this. Maybe it gives people hope, but I'm sure it also hurts people. This also leads to my next thought...

2. Posting in other blogs. I currently do not post comments in any IF blogs unless I have already posted before so they are familiar with me. I'm not sure someone who is in the middle of cycling wants to click on my profile, go to my blog for the first time, expecting to see a post about infertility and be smacked with "woo hoo - look at my u/s pics!" However, does it bother anyone who is familiar with my blog, when I post comments in theirs, if they have just dealt with a loss/failed/canceled cycle? Meaning, is it hurtful in any way? If so, I'll refrain from commenting, and will totally understand.

3. The feelings of a failed IVF cycle.
I did experience, for half of a day, what it must feel like to have a failed IVF cycle. And NO, I am not equating that with those who have had failed cycles - just saying that I do have an idea what it feels like. Honestly. Those who have been following my blog may recall that I was sure this past cycle had failed on the day of my beta, and I would have canceled the beta had I not wanted to go in to let them know I wanted to get the next cycle started asap. I really did have a post ready that day about my feelings about the failed cycle, which I never posted only because I wanted to conclude it with what I would be doing next, and I was waiting to hear from my RE's office. The title of that post included the word 'dead'. I was bitter, and strangely numb. It was like, once I finished freaking out early that morning, my emotions shut down. I felt like I would never cry again (and I cry pretty easily), and I started thinking of the next cycle in a very unemotional, clincial sort of way. When I read of others' failed cycles, I think back to that day, and the feelings are still very vivid. I'm sorry that anyone ever has to feel like that.

4. Hindsight - should I have gotten pregnant in my 20's? I know many of us who are in our mid-late 30's or 40's may wonder if we waited too long to have kids, and 'what if' we had started earlier.' I've thought about this, and DH asked my during my last cycle, would I have rathered had kids years ago (assuming I wouldn't have had problems when I was younger) if I had known I would be infertile? At the time he asked this, I had not received any 'positive' news yet. I said honestly, no. First, his question was also very interesting, because we were still dating during my teens and very early 20's. (yes, I dated DH many years ago before we went are separate ways for about 10 years) Maybe I should have just stayed with DH way back when and had kids! I thought about that and still my answer was 'no.' I wasn't ready to marry DH then - I don't think it would have worked, which is why we parted ways back then! I would always wondered if I settled down too early, we wouldn't have become the people we are now - we might have split, not been good parents, for all I know I may have been selfish and wound up resenting getting pregnant early! Who knows! We grew as people and somehow found our way back to each other. (boy, that last sentence sounds sappy)

But what about after we parted ways, when I in my late 20's/early 30's? How about the years I did have another long-term boyfriend? Looking back, I am so happy that I did not settle down then and have kids. I can't imagine now... just can't fathom the idea of having married someone else and having their kids. Argh! All in all, I don't feel as if I made the wrong decision by waiting for the right person before trying to have kids - and again, I felt like this before I had any idea that my cycle may have worked. Not everyone meets the right person when they're young... technically I did meet DH when I was young, but it was too young.

Just stuff I've been thinking about......

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

9w3d - First OB Appointment

FYI: This post is just basically about my OB appointment today.

9w3d ... but yesterday was 9w1d, so how is that possible? Answer: I received an updated measurement today because I scored another ultrasound! :) Yes!! They weren't going to do one initialy, but perhaps my puppy dog eyes convinced them otherwise. You may see me on an upcoming episode of Intervention, with my family trying to pry me away from u/s machines. Anyway....

The Ob/Gyn I am going to is the same one I've been seeing since I was a teenager. My doctor retired a few years ago and I have been seeing a new one since then. My appointment today, however, was with a nurse practitioner. After turning some initial paperwork they had sent me to fill out prior to my visit, I went into a consultation room. The nurse practitioner came in, looked over my paperwork, asked me some initial questions, and then went over some basic information - what not to eat, what I should eat, exercise, medication, etc. I received a folder of informational pamphlets and a pregnancy book. She then explained how often I would be coming - once a month until ... I forget what week....30? Anyway, once a month for quite a while, and they would perform an ultrasound at 20 weeks. I was surprised that they didn't do one a little earlier... anyway, this was, of course, the perfect time for me to ask, "Soooo... are you going to do an u/s today?" She said no, (nicely) and then continued. Would I like to make an appointment with a genetic counselor to screen for certain conditions? They can do a nuchal translucency ultrasound and bloodwork around week 11-13 to assess the possibility of certain problems. I said yes, only because I want to be as informed as possible. (I can't say that the extra ultrasound didn't also factor into my decision!) At the end of the consultation, I said, lightheartedly, "So, no chance of an ultrasound today?" and smiled. I didn't want her to know how psycho I really am! She said no, since I just had one last week and I said I understood, I was just being over-cautious, wanting to make sure "everything was still there!" and kind of laughed. Again, I didn't want the depth of my nuttiness to be obvious. (Denise, I did think about your suggestion :) )

I then went into the examination room for the examination - checking my uterus, listening to my heart, breast exam, etc. I already had a pap smear and the initial bloodwork done while still at my RE. So I change, and wait...wait.... Hmm, wonder why the wait? The door opens and I see the nurse practitioner wheeling something in behind her... wait, is that an ULTRASOUND MACHINE?! She turns to me, smiles, and says, "Alright, alright, you win, we'll take a peek in there, though the picture won't be very good" YES!! I'm not concerned about the picture quality - show me a HB! I thank her and let her know how appreciative I am. She pours some goop on my belly, and I think "Wow, a non-dildo cam u/s!" Well, that didn't work too well... she couldn't really pick anything up. I wasn't concerned since it's still pretty early. So, she said she'd get the dildo-cam (obviously she didn't call it that!) and try that after she does the regular exam.

So, after the exam, she gets the nice little wand, and voila! We see everything right away. Now, this u/s machine wasn't nearly as clear as the one at the RE's office, but I could clearly see Butters. She pointed out the HB (which I could barely see on this machine, but whatever, as long as she saw it!) and then did measurements. "Right on target" she said, "9 weeks, 3 days, perfect." A wave of relief washed over me. Now, I know that this still doesn't mean something can't still go wrong but for some reason, I felt like the 9 week mark was critical. I didn't get a picture, which is fine, since they weren't even planning on doing an u/s initially.

The nurse practitioner did say something I found a little funny. She knew I underwent IVF from my records, so as she was doing the u/s she asked, "So, how many eggs did you put back?" Eggs? Oh, you mean I could have just put eggs back in my uterus? Heh heh. I just smiled and said two.

My next appointment is April 15. (tax day!) However, my screening appointment will be some time before then. In the meantime, I still have plenty to post about, assuming I don't continue to sleep 30 hours a night. Oh, I did forget to mention that I am down to just one dose of crinone gel a day instead of two! I am supposed to continue with the progest.erone until I am 10 weeks along, which is this weekend. Yay, no more yucky gel!

Monday, March 17, 2008

9w1d Update

What a bad blogger I have been. I have some updates...
1. Graduating from my RE / 8w2d u/s.
2. Pregnant Friends: Irrational Infertility Fears (IIF)
3. Symptoms

    Graduating from my RE / 8w2d u/s.
    Last week's 8w2d u/s at my RE's office was fine. DH and I saw Butters with his/her heart still beating (yay) and he/she looked like something besides a blob! I have included the picture below, along with the 7w2d one.

    Then we saw the head move and it was just awesome. That was my last visit with my RE - I have my first OB appointment tomorrow, 3/18. Dr. M. told me before I left to please keep in touch and that he wanted to see me when I was all 'big'! I said sure, but that I would make sure I came in when there wasn't a waiting room full of people, ya know? Actually - what do YOU think? Would seeing a pregnant lady (assuming I will stay pregnant, IIF aside) in a fertility clinic piss you off or give you hope? I think it would just upset people. I don't think seeing a pregnant woman while I was sitting in the waiting room for yet another follicle check would have helped my mood whatsoever. Anyway, I hugged Dr. M. and thanked him, then went and said goodbye to the IVF coordinator and the other ladies at the front desk area and my eyes started filling with tears! (damn hormones!) Everyone at my RE's office is just wonderful, and it was weird saying goodbye. I felt like a big dork. The IVF coordinator gave me a little gift bag that said 'congratulations' and contained some itsy bitsy booties. Aww.

    Pregnant Friends: Irrational Infertility Fears
    So yes, tomorrow is my first OB appointment. Let me just say that I really hope I get some kind of u/s (not sure if they will do one?) so I can see Butters and a heartbeat, and not because I have any indication that something must be wrong - this is a purely irrational concern. See, I just found out this weekend that two friends of mine are pregnant and due just one month before me! This is very cool, but it has now brought forth my Irrational Infertility Fears (IIF). You know, the 'Things can't be going this well and something is going to happen and and they will all be giving birth this fall and I won't.' I am not dwelling on this, and am trying to think only positive thoughts but it's so weird how hearing of these two pregnancies has really brought out the IIF.

    I am much closer with one of the two girls, and her husband is also very good friends with mine. We saw them in person on Saturday, when DH and I went to their house for dinner. I was so happy to hear that she was expecting again (she has a 2 1/2 year old) Later that evening we told them our news, even though it is a bit early and we haven't told many people. I thought it would be obvious to them because I drank a non-alcoholic beer (which incidentally, has 0.5% alcohol. I would need to drink about 9 to equal one light beer.) However, they didn't say anything, so we finally just told them. They were very surprised since we hadn't said anything all evening! I found out that they were actually being very sensitive. They both knew we had been going through treatments, and assumed that I was probably no drinking because of that, and of course didn't want to ask. So of course it was one big happy pregnancy fest, with the husbands congratulating each other over Guiness while the wives talked about all things pregnancy over ice water. What a happy picture, right? Yes, it was! And that's what started the IIF. I mean, my SIL is due in July, the other two girls in September, and me in October. We'll all have kids the same age, which will totally rule. Yet this is just the 'perfect' time for the infertility demons to come down and really stick it to me. C'mon, you know what I'm talking about it - you've read the stories in other blogs, and it may have sadly, even happened to you or someone close to you. I'll just try not to think about it....

    One letter describes it all: ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I really can't stand the fatigue, because I have a lot of things to get done at home after work and they are just not getting done. However, I do see any pregnancy symptom as a positive sign so I have a love/hate relationship with my fatigue. Some days I feel fine, while I feel like a walking zombie other days. I am exercising again, since Dr. M. gave me 'gym clearance' two weeks ago, (thank goodness!) so I had hoped that would help increase energy. I think the exercise has helped a bit, but not too much. I did have some pretty significant nausea this morning, though it has subsided now. I had some last week, but all in all, I've been extremely lucky to have not had much m/s. Now I just need to wake up.

    Perhaps I'll just demand an u/s at my appointment if they don't plan to do one. Stamp my feet, throw a tantrum, the works ;)

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    I'm Fine - But Others Are Not

    First, I am behind in my blog reading and commenting and I do plan to catch up this week. So if I usually comment in your blog and I haven't in a bit, don't worry, I'll be back. I'm sure this was a very big concern for a lot of you. ;)

    Anyway, this post is primarily to mention this blog: Relaxing Doesn't Make Babies. Please stop by and give your support. Her baby was born still at 36 weeks. How devastating. I can NOT even imagine what this must be like. I feel like I should never complain about anything in my life ever again.

    I'll be back to post updates on my 'stuff'. (I'm still incredibly tired all the time - and no, I am not complaining!)

    Friday, March 7, 2008

    A Quickie

    I don't have time to post much at the moment, but wanted to mention that Tuesday's u/s was fine. Butters is almost 11mm and his heart was pumping away at about 150bpm. I will post a picture in my next post. I'll be going back to Dr. M. one more time next week, even though I don't really have to. However, you know I must squeeze in an extra u/s, since it may be a while before I have one again! My regular Obgyn appointment is March 18.
    I am also a bit behind in my blog reading/commenting. I hope to catch up this weekend, though I'll be on a bar crawl this Saturday. That's right - a bar crawl. I decided one day of drinking won't hurt. Right?


    I'M KDDING! I'm going to get 'hammered' on O'Douls ;-) Preferably O'Douls Amber if it's available. I can have fun observing a bus full of drunk people. Heh heh. I just can't let anyone know I'm not drinking, as usual. DH and SIL are the only ones going who know of my situation.

    Ok, more later.

    Saturday, March 1, 2008

    Heartbeats and Heart Attacks

    I have a very good excuse as to why I have not posted about Tuesday's u/s until now. Really I do. I've been sleeping. No lie - this %!#% progeste.rone (do you think I whine about pregeste.rone enough?!) still has be conking out pretty early each night, and I can't get a jolt from some nice strong, regular coffee! I vowed to post Thurs. night, but fell asleep even earlier because, believe it or not I am sick again! Just a slight fever and sore throat - just enough to make me feel pretty lousy, and wanting to sleep even more than usual, if that's even possible. I was able to go to work Fri. Thank you Tylenol. I rarely ever get sick two weeks in a row, so I don't know what's going on. I could have posted from work, since I do manage to stay awake during the day, but I wanted to scan the latest picture to go with the post... which I planned on doing every evening and wound up falling asleep before I get to the computer.

    Tuesday's u/s went very well. Butters had grown and measured 6w2d. Based on my ER date, I would have been 6w4d on Tuesday, but Dr. M. said that a two day measurement difference didn't mean anything, because it depends on when implantation occurred. The most reassuring thing was the little heartbeat that both DH and I could see very clearly, beating away at 120bpm. I just stared at the screen in awe. You still can't see much in the picture.

    I was told to stop the estrad.iol pills and the PIO shots - yay! However, I still have to use the 'wonderful' gel twice a day. (bleh) Dr. M. said he wanted to see me probably two more times, and to go ahead and set up an appointment with my regular obgyn for about 3 weeks from now. I, of course, wish I could stay with Dr. M. through everything, as I am sure most patients do, but we all know that isn't possible. My next u/s is scheduled for March 4.

    This is where the 'heat attack' part of my post begins.
    Needless to say, I was feeling pretty happy. That lasted about an hour and a half. I decided to go to the bathroom at work and insert my dose of I usually insert my morning does when I wake up, but I wanted to wait until after the u/s in case the u/s wand interfered with any absorption.

    (TMI alert) So there I am, in the stall. Insert applicator, squeeze out the gel, remove the applicator. I notice a very small bit of red on the end of the applicator. I think 'Hmm... well, I guess I might have a little bit of spotting from the u/s or something.' I wasn't yet worried, but decided to jam my finger you-know-where just to check. I expected to maybe see a bit of discoloration. Instead, I see a finger covered in bright red blood. I start to shake.

    Rational mind thought at the moment: "I just saw a heartbeat. There is no way I could be miscarrying right now."

    Irrational mind thought at that moment, which completely overrode rational mind thought: "WHAT THE %!$%!$ BRIGHT RED? OH SH*T!! No No NO NO!"

    It took me about 1.5 seconds to pull my pants back up, get back to my desk, grab my cell phone and get back out to a secluded part of the hallway and call the doctor's office. After explaining to the nurse what happened, she immediately told me to not worry - that my vag area is 'very vascular', end even more so than usual now that I'm 'p.' She said this happens a lot - that the u/s and the applicator could easily cause this. She asked if I had any type of pain or cramping - I didn't. I asked if I should come in if the bleeding continued and she said yes, of course, but that I should not expect any bleeding to continue.

    I then spent the rest of the day trying to not go to the bathroom every 15.8 seconds to check things out. As it turns out, she was right - there hasn't been anything since.