Archive for the ‘first pregnancy’ Category

I’m 4dp5dFEt and just not feeling PG.

I’m trying to imagine how I’d deal with a BFN this time. I really think this is the end of the road for us. We have 5 great blasts left on ice but I just can’t see spending more money to put them back when clearly nothing is working. It’s like every penny I spend on IF is a penny I should be putting in my son’s college fund or something.

I really should go on BCP to manage my endo and avoid pain and a 3rd lap, so it’s not like I can just see what happens after this.

I just yesterday told someone to try to avoid getting upset until there was something to be upset about. Why can’t I take my own advice?

I can’t believe I have more than another week of this limbo. I just want to wake up when it’s over.


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Before our IVF cycle, I thought a lot about what it would be like to have twins, which room I’d use for a new baby, whether we’d be able to fit 3 carseats in our car, etc etc etc.

I’m trying not to go there this time. The more hope I feel, the more confident I get, the harder I crash. I’m just going through the motions, shooting myself up with medicine and hoping for the best.

Any time I think about whether I like a name, I stop myself.

Any time I wonder about who I lent a maternity top to, I nip it in the bud. It’s bad enough that I have all these maternity clothes hanging in my closet that I bought before TTC#2 because I was so sure that I knew my body better this time and it would happen more quickly. [Note to self. Move those to another closet BEFORE the FET so I don’t have to do it afterward if it doesn’t work.]

What makes me the saddest is knowing that I’ll have a hard time enjoying a pregnancy this time. I LOVED being pregnant before. I thought it was so amazing. This time I’ll just be waiting for the next shoe to drop. For something to go wrong. To have a third miscarriage. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to let myself get excited if everything goes perfectly.

I guess at some point I’ll have to buy some baby stuff if it does work because everything I have now is expired, recalled, etc etc etc. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Maybe at 36 weeks I’ll feel safe buying stuff!

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The irony is not lost on me!

So as I mentioned yesterday, the worst part of a laparoscopy is the gas bubbles you get under your diaphragm because they blow you up to be able to see. It sounds like no big deal, but there’s some kind of nerve confusion between your diaphragm and shoulder that makes your shoulder hurt like crazy from the gas.

Yesterday I was 4 hours into my percoset (ie 2 hours away from another one.) I thought I’d try to go lay on the couch since being in the same position on my bed was making my back sore.

When you stand up, though, the gas puts more pressure on your diaphragm, making the shoulder hurt more. (I’ve been pretty much flat on my back for this reason since Monday.)

It hurt so damn bad that I couldn’t breathe and was hyperventilating, panicking, etc. I couldn’t get a breath because it caused a stabbing pain in my diaphragm, and the shoulder pain was so bad I couldn’t move. The harder time I had breathing, the tenser I got. The tenser I got, the worse it hurt.

Thank God for my Dad and husband. Dad stayed with me all day to fetch stuff for me. He rubbed my shoulder under the heating pad until Ben could get home (called and asked him to come early) to come do the relaxation stuff we learned in our Bradley Childbirth classes (oh, the irony, but that’s some good sh!t). Between the two of them I was at least able to breathe again and get semi-comfortable.

Turns out I can take 1-2 percoset every 4-6 hours and I was taking 1 every 5 hours. Plus I can take Advil in between. So I upped the drugs and started walking around once they kicked in, which has helped the gas dissipate.

Doing MUCH better today. Now I just have to wean off some of these drugs so I can drive myself to work on Friday.

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I was talking about how strange it is to have a favorite phlebotomist…

Yet I get on the computer every few days and broadcast the most intimate details about things like my cervical mucus to the world.


So in order to really top the charts, I thought I’d share a few pictures from the IVF (before you scream in horror, my ho-ha does not make an appearance in these.)

This is the picture Ben took of my stomach after the acupuncturist had taken out her needles. We did acupuncture before and after the embryo transfer because it’s supposed to boost your chances (though there are no big studies on this, I figured it couldn’t hurt.) This was 5 days after I had stopped doing shots in my stomach, so those bruises had done quite a bit of healing. (Oh, and FYI, that’s what smearing anti-stretch mark lotion all over your belly 2x a day during pregnancy gets you.) So glad I’m not doing shots every day right now, I have to say.

bruised belly

You hardly feel the acupuncture needles because they’re TINY, but there are a few spots like this one that zing you for a couple seconds.

ear needle

This is what your husband looks like in the throws of IVF conception (well, SUPPOSEDLY!) I took it from the stirrups wearing a sexy hospital gown and some surgical paper stuff. Ahhhhh….. the romance! (Doesn’t it look like he’s hiding from all of you? He was probably thinking “quick, put on the mask before this picture ends up on the blog!”)
Ben romance

Are you ready for the most romantic part? If I had $25 for every time I’ve been violated by this bad boy, I could do all the IVF I want. Yes, ladies (let’s face it, no gentlemen are reading this), it’s the DILDO CAM!

dildo cam

Get this, they even lube that puppy up and throw a big condom on it before shoving it up against your giant swollen painful ovaries for 10 minutes to count and measure follicles. Yup, it’s all about comfort. (I assume I don’t have to draw a picture about where this thing goes?) Maybe next time I’ll ask for warming lube.

It took me a while to look at these pictures. I originally imagined putting them in some sort of “How You Got Here” scrapbook for my baby, but obviously that didn’t happen. (The dildo cam was not going to make an appearance in that scrapbook, in case you were worried.) We do still have 7 blasts on ice, so I guess maybe I still will. I’m glad I took them, though. If anything, I can look at them before we do a frozen embryo transfer and be thankful I don’t have to bruise up my belly again (ruins the perfect complexion and all.)

Just be glad I spared you the picture of my butt with a big circle drawn on it to show Ben where to put the PIO shots.

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There’s this term “chemical pregnancy” that you see around the fertility boards. My midwife and RE have just said miscarriage. It’s a really early miscarriage and technically defined as a pregnancy that never gets far enough to see on an ultrasound (around 5.5 weeks, probably). This is my second. I made it about a week longer than the first.

The first was our second month trying the first time. I was sad, but not really pregnant long enough to feel too attached. I got a BFP at 10 and 11 DPO and then started getting negatives, so I went in to get my blood drawn and to find out if I needed a Rhogam shot for spotting. Found out the levels were dropping, got the Rhogam shot (for women who are O-), and it was all over quickly and with no intervention. At the time I was even relieved because it meant we could get pregnant. It was my 2nd month TTC, so I was sure it would happen again quickly. Sure enough, I got pregnant with Owen 3 months later.

This time it was somewhere around our 20th (ish) cycle of trying. Except we weren’t really trying. No medical intervention these days=not trying. The pregnancy test that said “pregnant” elated me. I really thought after the failed IVF I might never see it again. We’ve only got so many options left, after all. I was re arranging bedrooms in my mind upstairs to make room for a nursery. Even stopped by diaperswappers.com to see what newborn cloth diapers run these days to supplement my stash. I can’t even explain the excitement of it FINALLY happening.

That excitement lasted a day until I got the bloodwork back. When I got the results, I knew it was over, despite them wanting to come in for a 2nd test. The levels were just too low for as many DPO as I was. All of the progesterone they pumped into me over the course of a few days didn’t really matter because I started bleeding despite it. Then it all came CRASHING.BACK.DOWN. I had terrible nightmares and relived them every time I thought about it, every time I went to the bathroom.

The thing I don’t like about the term “chemical pregnancy” is that it in no way signifies a loss. This is my second and I can 100% say it feel like a major loss.

Now I don’t know what to think about our chances. Several friends I’ve told about it say, “see you CAN still get pregnant. It will happen again.” Part of me buys that. I even have a tiny bit of hope for these couple months of ignoring IF while we wait to start the Lupron for our FET (probably will start Lupron around January or February for a FET between April and July, depending on how long my body takes to go back to normal after the Lupron.) That part of me wonders if it would be worth refilling my progesterone prescription to support any miracle pregnancy that happens (which I wish I had been doing last month. I feel like it never had a shot.)

The biggest part of me is afraid to even hope. Because as I’ve explained before, hoping too much just makes me crash harder. That same skeptical part also thinks if it took 20 months to happen once, I don’t have 20 months of trying left in me for it to happen again. There a couple of reasons for this.

#1 is emotional. I can’t ride the roller coaster of emotions anymore. I have been an emotional wreck for the last year or so. It’s not fair to myself or my family, especially Owen.

#2 I don’t have 20 months. My endometriosis WILL come back. The surgery I had last February just removed what was already there (mostly grown in the 2 years since Owen, the surgeon thought, though I have no idea why he thinks that.) The RE said we basically have a year before it’s problematic fertility wise again. The pain and IBS-like symptoms haven’t been nearly as bad as pre-surgery when I’m not medicated, but it hasn’t been fun either. Just better compared to what it was before.

So today I went in to the RE because they wanted to make sure my beta levels were back down to zero. I’m not sure exactly why they do that. I suppose to make sure you’re not retaining any tissue. My only thought was that I didn’t want to go back to that place of torture for a long long time.

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I’ve had this question asked of me a few dozen times in the last few days, so I thought I’d post on our answer. The answer is… we don’t know yet. Probably 2, but maybe 1. If the embryologist and RE make a compelling argument for putting back one superstar, we may be tempted.

I wrote about this a few days ago here. Here are the relevant parts:
“The embryologist suggested we wait to decide how many eggs to transfer (either 1 or 2) after we see how they’re growing because they’ll know more about quality then. Basically if the whole cohort of embies are superstars (A+ quality), she might suggest doing one b/c they’re all likely to do well. If there’s just one that looks good (A+) and the rest are ok (B or A), they might suggest doing 2 b/c the cohort having issues might mean we’ll have better chances with 2. Really, the whole IVF process is a bit of a gamble and you’re always playing the odds. ”

So that still stands. We won’t decide until the day of transfer. If there are a lot of great embies that are likely to survive a freeze and thaw, a frozen embryo transfer (FET) would cost the same as daycare for an infant for about 5 months. Though we DO NOT want to go through this again, a FET is less complicated than a fresh IVF cycle, and about a quarter the price. It has lower success rates than fresh cycles, though, and even good embies don’t always survive a freeze and thaw.

Our clinic has roughly a 76% pregnancy rate for IVF in my age group (these numbers are off the top of my head, so I may be a point or two off.) Of those, about 38% have twins. The vast majority of those are transferring 2 embies, but the numbers aren’t broken down between 3 and 5 day transfers or quality of embies. It does mean, though, that when you put back 2, in most cases, at least one of them doesn’t make it.

Obviously we would rather have twins than no babies, but twins scare the hell out of me. If it were my first baby, I’d just do it. I wouldn’t know any different.

However, having had a pretty bad sleeper (he was up every 2-3 hours regularly until about 20 months, despite having read almost every book on the market looking for help), I can’t imagine trying to juggle the sleep needs of two. I also worry about being able to nurse two at a time. I had plenty of milk for one, but 2 is a more complicated matter, especially if I’ll be pumping at work. I’m not adverse to supplementing, but it seems to lead to a slippery slope of supply problems and cause tummy issues.

I also worry about the impact twins would have on Owen. Having one baby is going to rock his world, let alone having to divide my attention even further.

Twin pregnancies scare me too. Just that much more complicated, that much more risky for pre-term delivery, complications, etc. I had one baby in the NICU for 3 days and it was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever done. I can’t imagine the stress of an extended NICU stay in combination with taking care of Owen.

Twins even mean a higher risk that my dreaded PUPPS rash would come back.

Fair warning… I’m about to post the reason why I was scared to get PG for a good 2 years (combined with lack of sleep) after Owen. I had a terrible rash from head to toe for the last month of my first pg and 4 months after he was born. If you’re easily scarred by scary skin, close your eyes. (I’m going to close mine. It still scares me.)

PUPPS feet

PUPPS belly

So, that’s the story. We don’t know. We’ll keep you posted.

If any IVFers have any input on the decision (or how you reached your decision), I’d love to hear it. I seem to be splitting the ranks when I ask on infertility chat boards.

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you’re jealous of someone’s miscarriage because you think, well, at least they can GET pregnant.

Good God. I’m a freak.

I even had a miscarriage (though a really early one that didn’t require a D&C or traumatic of passing of tissue), so I know it’s no picnic. It was our second month of trying the first time. If I hadn’t been charting and paying such close attention, I probably would have just thought my cycle was off a little.

If we go through this IVF and I have a miscarriage, I’m going to lose my mind.

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