Monthly Archives: November 2014

Taking a Deep Breath…

I’m so sorry to keep some of you out of the loop about this pregnancy and hcg levels. Thank you for checking in with me.

I discovered that my first beta of 20 was actually done at 11 dpo instead of 12 dpo like I had originally thought. This made me feel a little bit better about it being on the lower side. I discovered that the average beta for 11 dpo is something like 24.

My second beta was done last Wednesday at 13 dpo and was 60. The nurse was very happy with this number, but did mention that I was pregnant “most likely with a singleton.” I definitely felt a sense of relief that things seemed to be progressing like they should.

After my blood test last Wednesday I headed to my parents with Josh to help them get ready for Thanksgiving. On Thursday, we returned as a family to celebrate. What a blessing to be thankful out of overflowing gratitude for this new baby instead of out of obedience had we gotten a negative test. But even then, I know I would have been thankful for this almost 9 month son of ours that brings daily smiles to our faces.

Over the weekend we headed to the mountains for a quick vacation at my parents cabin. Overall I’ve just been feeling… well, normal. Very normal. With Josh I was already feeling very “off ” by this point. But I guess I shouldn’t compare pregnancies. In any case, it’s been a little bit of a struggle not to worry and to just enjoy this period of feeling decent while it lasts.

I did, however, get my next beta test moved from Saturday to this Tuesday. I’m needing reassurance that things with this baby are okay. As you can see… I’m a little bit of a worrier. Not something I’m proud of.

Whether this baby goes to term and we get to hold him or her in our arms, or whether I miscarry and things don’t work out at all like we had hoped for — God is greater still, always working, always faithful.

Today I am 4 weeks 3 days. These are early, early days! Thanks again for your prayers for this little one inside. 🙂

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Miracles Do Happen!

Today’s events:

5:45am- wake up. Remember today is the day. Wish I could roll over and forget all about it.
7:15am- Get blood drawn. Notice that I am the only person under 55 in the waiting room that early in the morning.
9-10am- Take nap, feeling rather depressed.
10:30am- Plan some fun things for the day to “cheer” myself up when I get the bad news that I’m not pregnant.
11am- Not sure if I will follow through on any of those fun things, after all I feel like crying.
11:30- work up the nerve to call Kaiser’s appointment line and request my lab result.
11:33- Conversation with the Kaiser lady:

Me: “Um hi. I’m calling to get my lab results from this morning. An hcg test.”
Lady: (After questioning me several times to verify my identity.) “Which test did you say?”
Me: “Maybe I called too soon. It’s a beta hcg test. A pregnancy test.”
Lady: [Pauses] … “Oh yes, I see it here.”
Me: [Feeling suddenly stricken by panic] “Ohhh. The results are back, huh?” [As I’m thinking please just tell me it’s negative and then I can go on with my life!]

Lady: “It’s 20.”

——–Silence——–

Me: “Wait. Did you say 20?”
Lady: “Well, yes. It says here 20.”

——–Burst into tears———

Me: “I’m pregnant!!!! I can’t believe it!!!!!”

(After I hung up with the Kaiser lady I got to call first hubby at work and give him the good news. He was completely shocked, just as I was!)

God worked a miracle and we are overjoyed. My beta is a low number, but it’s right on target for how early my test was (6dp6dt).

Thank you all who prayed and begged God on our behalf for this pregnancy. He has truly done a miracle!

On Wednesday I have to get my level tested again and make sure that it’s rising appropriately. These are very early days, and it scares me some to be vulnerable with you all in case we end up losing the baby. But it’s worth it, because how can you pray if you do not know of needs?

Thank you for your love and support.

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Deflated Before Test Day

Things aren’t looking so good. 😦

I took a test yesterday and today and both were negative. I’m 5dp6dt. By this time last year, I had a faint positive test with Josh. But the cramping stopped a few days ago and I just feel completely normal. Feeling can lie, but I don’t feel pregnant.

My mom called earlier and I told her the news. We chatted about what I would do if the test came back negative tomorrow. I cried. There is only one trick left up my sleeve that I know of that might help curb the endometriosis. I don’t know if it will work or fail. If it fails I’ll need surgery again.

In any case, maybe God will work a miracle and maybe my beta will come back tomorrow with a surprise. Or maybe our wonderful family of 3 is what God would like us to be content with for now.

Jesus may you give me peace to get through tonight and tomorrow.

Thank you all for your amazing kind words and prayers. It means a lot to me!

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Torture Before Testing

Well folks, no one said this waiting period would be easy.

It’s far from easy. In the infertility world, I’m what you’d call 3dp6dt. That’s 3-days-past a 6-day-transfer, to equal 9 dpo (which translates to 9 days past ovulation). A little early for a home pregnancy test, although some women pregnant with multiples get positives this early. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to our embryo transfer.

Our frozen embryo transfer (FET) was on Tuesday. All in all, it was a rough day. For the first time ever, I blogged in real-time about the phone call from our RE announcing the poor prognosis of one of our embryo. After that blog post, I got an email from my RE. I won’t go into detail because it’s not important. But let’s just say that he was pretty rude and unkind in this quick email. It had nothing to do with the transfer that day, it was a response to an email I had sent him the prior week regarding my thyroid. On any given day, the email would have just made me mad. But on FET day, the day I am injected full of hormones, the day Josh is for some reason out of sorts and threatening to be screaming during our (already stressful) transfer, and most of all the day I hear one of my babies might be dying — well, I burst immediately into tears.

Thankfully, my husband called his mom to babysit Josh and she came to the rescue with 3 minutes to spare! I popped my prescribed valium, guzzled the prescribed amount of water, loaded up and hit the road.

And on the drive to the clinic, I let the email go. It didn’t matter. What was important was getting those babies transferred where they belonged.

When we arrived it was clear our RE didn’t want to transfer in our embryo that was looking less than great (I never did hear what the official “grade” that the embryo was). We went back and forth as I tried to ascertain what the actual status of the embryo was. My RE said that in his opinion, the embryo was a “demise.” A demise? A demise means dead. “Is it dead?” I asked. No, he said it wasn’t dead, but it was as good as dead. “Death is pretty black or white, is it dead?” I asked again. He said it was black or white for him — it might as well be dead. So he wasn’t willing to call it dead.

Because it was not dead.

He stepped out of the room and gave my husband and I a minute to decide what we wanted to do. But we already knew we were transferring in this struggling embryo. We talked about it for about one second. My RE came back in the room and we told him we wanted both embryos transferred.

Ten minutes later, both embryos had been transferred without any complications. He handed us pictures of our embryos, then in the blastocyst (about to hatch) stage. I looked at each embryo with wonder and amazement– these were our children. One of the embryos, the struggling embryo, had some cells that had burst, indicating that things were not good. But there were still cells that were intact. It still had a chance, even if it is a very, very small chance.

As my RE was walking out the door, he said, “This is good. You only want one baby. You don’t want twins. One baby is best.” The door slammed behind him. I couldn’t help it — I gave the biggest eye roll at his comment. Never mind the prior appointments where I told him we were comfortable with the idea of twins. Never mind the fact that it was his idea to transfer two embryos last summer. How wrong he was, and how frustrated I felt with him for not rooting even a little for our struggling embryo. I’m not sure what was going through his head, but he seemed to be wrapped up in the well being of his clinic’s statistics of viable pregnancies.

Then, our lovely nurse (who I adore) asked to see the pictures of our embryos. “Hmm” she said. “They’re not what I’d call great looking embryos, but you never know.” The truth is, I had been thinking the same thing (comparing only with pictures of blastocysts I’d seen on the internet) and inquired further. Why did she think that? I appreciated her giving me her honest opinion. She popped her head around the door to speak with the embryologist. The embryologist explained that no, one of the embryos was of excellent quality (4AA) but it just hadn’t had time to re-expand after being thawed. My nurse said, “Well, the embryologist is the expert!” I breathed a sigh of relief. It was clear that the nurse just didn’t know as much about it, although I know she’s worked at the clinic for a long time.

Lastly, during the thirty minutes that I had to lay still on the bed following the transfer, my husband laid hands on me and prayed over our embryos. There was nothing sweeter that happened that day than his act of headship over our family.

We came home from the clinic and the 3 days of bed rest and waiting began. Within a few hours I felt some tugging and pulling. Could it be the beginning of implantation? It was a little sharp, but didn’t last long. I felt the same thing later on that night and then the next morning. Then more consistent cramps began and didn’t let up for a day. They started again yesterday afternoon and took another break this morning. Then more cramps this afternoon. But none now. I had cramping with Josh so I see it as a very good sign that I might be pregnant. But then when the cramps fizzle out I start to feel unsure again. And the thing is, cramps are not a guarantee of pregnancy. It could be false hope. I just don’t know the outcome, and I won’t know until next week.

So thanks for praying for me. All in all, it’s going much better than last time. I’ve only cried once. But it’s still hard.

I was in the car today, taking Josh with me to Trader Joes to pick up some ice cream and chocolate (um, what else?!) and Seeds of Faith was playing for about the billionth time. The words from Isaiah 41, “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” played over and over and the words began to sink in after a while. And I thought: I’m not alone in this. If I don’t get pregnant, He is with me! and if I don’t get pregnant, He will strengthen, help and uphold me.

There is nothing sweeter than that.

I’ll have an update for you sometime next week. I’m not trying to be vague, it’s just that my clinic ordered my beta (blood test indicating a pregnancy or not) for Monday due to the holidays and I really feel that it’s waaay too soon. I’ll only be 12 dpo on Monday. I would hate to get a false negative– it’s like signing up for pre-planned torture. So I may just call the clinic Monday morning and request a later date for the lab draw. I haven’t decided yet.

Again, thanks for your prayers! And thanks for helping to support me through this journey!

 

 

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FET Day

We just got a call from our RE. Already things are not going as planned. They thawed two of our 6-day embryos, and one is looking great, the other is “surprisingly not looking great” (my RE’s words).

My RE’s question: Should he discard the bad looking one, thaw one more and transfer the two, or just transfer the original good one?

My question: Can’t we still transfer the original two (including the “not so good looking one”), even though one doesn’t look like it will survive long?

He said we could transfer both, as long as I understood that it had less than a 15% of survival.

I understand. And that’s what we’re doing. I’m not about to give up on my baby, just because things don’t look good.

Friends, please pray for our embryos. Our transfer is still over 2 hours away. I feel like my chances of getting pregnant are dropping as the minutes go by, but really– there are so many miracles I need the Lord to do in order to get pregnant, and this is just one of them.

He is able. But we need your prayers!

 

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One Week to Go!

Our FET is just one week away!

I’m sort of a nervous, excited wreck as I look longingly at maternity clothes at the store and then shudder with fear when I see all the leftover heartburn medicines sitting on our cabinet shelf… then back again to excited when I sadly boxed up Josh’s tiny newborn clothes; only to be mortified when a new adhesion pain develops in my abdomen and persists for days.

So here’s a recap and update:

–I emailed my RE last Thursday and complained again of the incessant headaches (I already wrote about that). He wrote me back and said it was most likely NOT from the levothyroxine (thyroid meds), but that I could stop it if I wanted to.

–I prayed about stopping it, and some of you prayed for me as well. 🙂 I asked my husband what he thought. His immediate response: “STOP IT IF YOU CAN!” Result: I stopped it. My last dose was Thursday night.

–Saturday was a HORRIBLE day with a migraine and overall weakness. Hard to describe how weird I felt. It was hard to sit and just fold laundry. I figured it was my body adjusting to coming off of the thyroid meds. I went into a catatonic state and went to bed at 8 pm, and then slept for 13 hours (after napping a lot during the day).

–Sunday I was 95% back to normal. No headache! Cautiously optimistic.

–Monday, NO HEADACHE! It’s been 5 1/2 weeks of constant headaches, I’m was beyond excited!

–Today, again NO headache! I told my RE I must have been allergic to the thyroid medicine. I had offered previously to switch to a name brand (instead of the generic) but he was insistent that it couldn’t possibly be the cause of my headaches. Weeks later, he agreed it must have been the thyroid meds after all. To be honest, I have much more energy OFF the medicine and plan to never interfere again with something that is already working just fine! (Lesson learned.)

–I went in to get my estrogen levels checked and the thickness of my lining monitored. Labs aren’t back yet, but my lining is good to go at 11.2 mm (my RE wants anything over 8 mm). When I got pregnant with Josh my lining was at 10.7 mm. Tomorrow night I start progesterone injections. Yippee!

–Next Tuesday is the day! Embryo transfer! Even though this has felt like a very loooong 5 1/2 weeks, I’m still amazed that it’s almost here!

–I have no false reassurance that I’ll get pregnant this time around, just because I got pregnant last time. These sorts of things fail all the time. But I have such a heart to want to know and mother these little embryo babies. I will be (and have been) crying out to God to hear my prayers. Thank you, if you are praying on my behalf!

Well, that ended up being longer than I thought. Now off to a day of giggles, babbling, kicking, and psuedo-crawling with the little guy. And a picture, just for fun. 🙂

DSC_0066

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Injections & Headaches

Injections for our embryo transfer are under way. Gave my first IM shot on Monday! I didn’t even feel it! Since I started the process for the FET on Oct. 2, it feel like it’s been a long month of meds and headaches. I’m so thankful we’ve only got 11 more days to go until they transfer in those embryos! Not that many of my meds will change, and I’ll still have to give myself shots after that (at least until we know if I’m pregnant or not), but this initial period of sorting out my TSH and getting acclimated to new medications will be DONE!

What a huge difference between going through IVF last year and going through the FET this year. I’ve learned so much about the Lord and myself during this space of time. Last year I was a complete basket case. I cried a lot during IVF and during the two week wait (2WW) until the blood test to find out if I was pregnant or not. I could barely hold it together, and I was so afraid to HOPE. But other than feeling fatigued, I really didn’t feel that bad with all the medications I was on at the time. Fast forward a year and some months… this time around I have complete peace about our FET. I don’t know if I’ll get pregnant, but I pray for it daily. I know it’ll be really hard if I don’t get pregnant, though. On the flip side, this round has been very tough physically. I’ve had headache almost every day for FIVE WEEKS. It’s been a total pain! I thought back and I think there have been 3 days where I did not have a headache.

My RE said he thinks the headaches are caused by the Lupron, even though I told him I’ve had the headaches for 5 weeks and I’ve only been on the Lupron for 2 weeks. He gave me the option to stop the thyroid medicine (he said he thought it was doubtful that it was causing the headaches). But it’s the only thing I’ve been on consistently for the last 5 weeks. I feel a little nervous to stop it as the research shows that a higher TSH is linked with miscarriages. But my TSH wasn’t that high to begin with (2.6). So I’m going to pray about stopping it today. Because I’m tired of functioning so poorly with these headaches. My concentration has become very poor.

So that’s the news. Not a lot to report, it’s kind of the same old story: “Blah blah blah headaches blah blah headaches…”

Thanks for praying for us!

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