Thursday, July 28, 2011

the BIG news!!

It’s TWINS!!

Dr. Fabulous did my scan this morning and quickly announced that there were two, with heartbeats!!

Baby A: 6mm, measuring 6 weeks 3 days, heart rate 122bpm

Baby B: 6.8mm, measuring 6 weeks 4 days, heart rate 120bpm

I’m really pleased that they are both measuring so well; I’m 6 weeks 3 days today. Dr. Fabulous said that both the sizes and heart rates are excellent, and I’m still on lifting restriction, as much as possible. She said not to lift the “princess” too much (her name for Kate).

She was thrilled, gave me a big hug and said I deserved this after everything we’ve been through. I can’t get over how happy she was. It’s such a great feeling, especially knowing what a team effort IVF really is. Another nurse, whom I’ve worked with many times, came in and congratulated me as well. Then Dr. Fabulous took me downstairs for intralipids. Several nurses, including nurses from the operating theatre stopped by to congratulate me upon hearing the news. Word travels fast in that clinic.

My reproductive immunologist started my IV today, so I was able to ask him about additional intralipids. I did them throughout the first trimester with Kate, but we are leaving in two weeks, and I’ll only be 8 weeks 3 days. His suggestion was to have another infusion as close to our departure date as possible, then I’ll be covered through the first trimester. Sounds good to me. Dr. Wonderful, who did the transfer earlier this month, happened to stop by, so I was able to tell him as well.

When I went to pay today’s bill, my favorite receptionist was very happy to hear the news, even asking to see the pictures. The woman in the billing office next door came over to see the pictures, and offer congratulations as well.

I LOVE my clinic so much! Everyone just seems genuinely excited and happy. There is no way I could have done this without them, all of them.

It’s still VERY early and I know that I could lose one, or both, of the babies, but for today, I’m VERY, VERY happy!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

ultrasound is rescheduled

A receptionist from the clinic just called and said they need to reschedule my ultrasound and intralipids. Apparently there's no doctor available on Friday afternoon. I probably should have taken an appointment next week (better chance to see a heartbeat if there is one), but I'm impatient and just couldn't wait. Thursday it is.

I'll be 6weeks 3 days. Has anyone seen a heartbeat that early?

Friday, July 22, 2011

okay, NOW the official third beta is in!

After yesterday's fiasco of first being told it was 1,400, then the answer being changed to 4,400, I wanted to see the results for myself.

Many, many phone calls and yes, resorting to getting the 'powers that be' at the embassy health unit involved, I present.....


Sorry the quality isn't great, it's a picture of the pdf document on my laptop screen.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

third beta, finally

My doctor just called and said that the blood work is excellent, then went on to say that the hCG is 1400. I almost fainted, as that would be MUCH lower than where it should be. After a bit of back and forth, he then said it was 4,400. I asked three more times and he assured me, 4,400. For today I’m sticking with that, and will work on getting a paper copy of the results tomorrow (they are once again gone for the day). I had also requested that the progesterone level be tested and the results came back at >140. I was told by both the GP and the receptionist that the lab doesn’t give actual number values for progesterone. What?!?!

I called Dr. Fabulous and left a message for her, just giving her the results and said that I’d see her next week for the ultrasound and intralipids.

Hopefully all is well and the number is in fact, 4,400!

ICLW July 2011

If you haven't been here before, welcome. This is a bit of my IF history.

2005- married

2007- started TTC

2008- IVF #1, early triplet miscarriage

FET #1, failed

2009- IVF #2, success

2010- welcomed our beautiful daughter, Kate

2011- FET #2, failed

IVF #3, two decent betas, waiting for the results of beta #3. Absolutely no pregnancy symptoms, so I'm not very hopeful.

For a more detailed history, click on the infertility label to the right.

I'm looking forward to finding some new blogs to read this month!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Guess who I met this week?

The lovely Fran from Everyone Else But Me! And a bonus, she had adorable baby Oliver with her! He is such a happy boy, always smiling!

For those of you who read her blog, she is just as wonderful in person as she is on the internet, or more so. She’s also beautiful! I was rather intimidated, especially with my puffed-up Prednisone face.

We had a lovely time at Starbucks and I felt like I could have spent hours upon hours talking; well, we kind of did :) She was very generous and brought me a bag of Gestone, needles and syringes. THANK YOU!!! We’re hoping to get together next week as well. My only regret is that we didn’t meet up sooner.

hCG frustration

I’ve now taken six home pregnancy tests, all positive, including the one this morning. It’s kind of absurd to test, since I know I have hCG in my system, but seeing the second line is reassuring. Even though I’ve already had two betas at the clinic, I just couldn’t wait for the ultrasound next week, to hopefully indicate that everything is going as it should, so I scheduled an appointment with the GP for blood work (I needed my thyroid checked anyway). To be fair, I could have scheduled an earlier ultrasound or more betas with the clinic, but then I would have had the childcare issue with Kate, so taking her to the GP with me just seemed easier.

This morning I arrived at the appointment, my GP did the blood draw, then I asked when the beta results would be in. Response, “Late Thursday or Friday.” blink blink. I must have looked utterly shocked, because the answer then changed to “Perhaps this afternoon.” Progress. When I went to pay, I asked the receptionist to call me ASAP with the beta results, and was then told that they wouldn’t be in until at least tomorrow morning, since they (doctor and receptionist) don’t work on Wednesday afternoons. Oh, this was getting even better.

Frustrated, I stopped at a pharmacy on the way home and purchased a new digital test that is so sensitive it will tell you the week of conception (not that there’s any doubt). Sounded reassuring; except I took the test and it’s defective. Now I can’t help but think this is the universe’s way of holding off on telling me the bad news. And no, I still haven’t stopped googling late at night. bad, bad, bad

Friday, July 15, 2011

What does $1336.62 look like?

Well, $1336.62 or €946.94

This afternoon I went to the pharmacy to pick up a one-month supply of meds, just to keep me pregnant. And this does not include the almost $1000 a month of another med I have to take; I still have enough of it left over to keep me going for another three weeks. It is days like this that I hate our insurance company, which covers nada.

The regular pharmacist was out today, but her coworker was just as lovely. She couldn’t get over Kate, commenting on her cuteness, her outfit, etc. After she brought the bag of meds to the front, and totaled them, she asked the question I’m used to at the pharmacy, “Is this okay?" While I appreciate them asking, because yeah, it’s a lot of money, I’m never quite sure what to say. I mean, it has to be “okay.”

Honestly, right now I’m just hoping that next month I'll still have a reason to drop a couple thousand dollars on more meds. I scheduled an appointment with my GP on Wednesday, thyroid panel and another beta. The waiting is awful. Still no pregnancy symptoms, just a lot of cramping :(

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

11dp5dt, second beta

Dr. Fabulous just called! It doubled!! 244
She'll see me on July 29 for an ultrasound and another intralipid infusion. I'll probably have another beta next week when I'm at the GP, just so I know that things are okay.

11dp5dt, a morning of appointments

First it was off to the pediatrician for Kate’s one-year vaccines. Yes I know, I need to do a birthday post.

We LOVE her pediatrician and were very sad to say goodbye this morning. Kate received a total of 3 jabs (MMR, PCV and Meningococcal C). We’ll do Varicella/ Chicken Pox in the U.S., since it isn’t done here. Her doctor always spends so much time with us; it’s unreal. She also has the most beautiful office. It’s a gorgeous home, err mansion, in a residential neighborhood. I’ve only been on the main level and the walkout basement (the clinical room and waiting area are downstairs), but wow, what a house. I was going to ask if I could take a picture or two, but thought that might be a rather strange request. As we were leaving today, I thanked her for providing such great care for Kate, and she seemed really touched. It's hard to put your trust in someone, and find someone you work well with, especially in a a foreign country. She far exceeded my expectations, which I admit, are high. Again, we are going to miss her. Of course my sweet girl was not happy after receiving three separate shots, but so far she’s handling it well.

Then it was off to the clinic for me. I had a new nurse, quick blood draw and she said someone should call between 4-5pm with the results. I’m still not feeling very hopeful about this beta, and yes, still googling like mad. I had also put in a request for our records, which they had ready for me today. Color me impressed! It was not only free, but everything was organized in a nicely bound notebook. I didn’t see the embryologist’s report from our current cycle, but everything else seems to be in order. Now I’m just waiting for the beta call.

Monday, July 11, 2011

9dp5dt, appointment. Update!!

I arrived at the clinic and received a warm welcome at reception. I didn’t think the second receptionist knew me, but when I tried to give her my name, she responded by referring to me by first name, and said she had already marked me.

As I was sitting in the waiting area, a nurse came in and I heard her say that the computer system was down. There were maybe 7, 8 other women and couples in the room; she went to each and asked for their names, then asked if they were there for a scan. When she got to me, she called me by name and said that she “knew” me. Strange because I don’t remember working with her before, but I also realized that I am there so frequently, I probably shouldn't be surprised that I'm "known." Meep.

The blood draw was simple enough. Nurse gave it a good luck rub and sealed it in a bag. Results should be in after 4pm today.

And just an FYI, if you go to bed and spend hours on your iPad googling "low beta, chemical pregnancy and cramping", you probably won't get very much sleep.


Dr. Fabulous just called. My beta is 93!!! I'll go back on Wednesday for a another test. She was very pleased with the number, and is going to call in some additional prescriptions to the pharmacy. She also said to rest and to try not to lift anything. Then we both had a good laugh, as I'm sure she heard Kate.

Today I'm happy with 93. Now we just need it to double!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

8dp5dt, 2 more tests

Despite the horrible cramping, it appears that things are still moving in the right direction. I took two more tests this morning, both positive. I'm convinced this is either a chemical or a late implanter (possibly one of the morulas).

I'm done testing until the beta tomorrow. Hoping and praying for a big number.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A line is a line, or is it? Update!

I decided to test today, 7dp5dt. Not wanting to jinx myself, I hadn’t planned ahead (purchased new pregnancy tests). So, I used an old (expired 2010) internet cheapie. Guinness woke me up at 5am, I tested, no line, threw it in the bin and crawled back in bed. Cried, cursed the world, and tried to go back to sleep; Guinness would not stop meowing. I got back out of bed and for whatever reason, pulled the test out of the bin. I blinked a few times, as I thought I saw a line. My husband was downstairs and when I showed the test to him, he saw the line too.

I’ve now thrown the test away, and pulled it out of the bin approximately five times; I’m clearly insane. I even got excited for a few minutes until I realized that

1. The test is expired.

2. The test is cheap.

3. The line didn’t show up right away.

Google isn’t helping either. The words “expired” and “evaporation” line might send me over the edge.

I just spoke to the clinic and they don’t do blood work on Saturdays. I have an appointment onMonday morning, and will buy some new tests today. Please let this be a real line. With everything I have, please let this be real. Honestly, I’m not feeling very hopeful :(

I started cramping and couldn't stand it anymore, so I used a brand new test. The line appeared right away. It's very, very light, and with the cramping, it could very well be a chemical. I'll test tomorrow and have the beta on Monday.
Well, and even more disappointing, the line isn't showing up at all on the picture I uploaded. I promise it's there, though very light.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 4th and 5th, a little late

A belated Happy July 4th. We went to the official party at the Ambassador’s Residence. I believe the turnout this year was just over 2500 people. Big party, food, football (hey, when your ambassador owns the Steelers, there’s bound to be football). They even had a Starbuck’s booth set up. Unfortunately there was no decaf (I’m only drinking decaf right now, just in case). Though I did realize that I must go to Starbucks entirely too often since a few of the baristas from our local store recognized me and Kate. Oops. The weather was absolutely perfect and I think everyone had a great time!

Yesterday I had an intralipid infusion, again. I noticed that there was a new television in the immunotherapy room, but didn’t pay much attention until the program came back after the commercial. The television was set to MTV and “Teen Mom” was on. It was so wildly inappropriate that it was actually funny. The nurse caught it and changed the channel. Yep, just what adult women going through IVF want to watch, dumb teenage girls who get pregnant easily, and by accident. From the few minutes of the show that I did see, TRAIN WRECK! Those poor children :(

I was able to see some of my favorite nurses, and it was hard, because for all I know, that may have been the last time I’ll ever be at the clinic. Dr. Fabulous was busy when I left, but I’ll at least call her to say goodbye before we leave Dublin. My absolute favorite woman in the front office did my paperwork and billing yesterday. I will miss her so much, and I did drop off a request for my records. As I was leaving, she asked if I needed to make another appointment. ::sigh:: Not yet, but I hope so.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

IVF #3, embryo transfer

I’m home, and on bed rest. Dr. Fabulous didn’t end up doing the transfer, but the owner of the clinic/ top RE, aka Dr. Wonderful, did. He did my egg retrieval for IVF #2, and did one of my ultrasounds last week. When I last saw him, I asked if he planned to do my retrieval again this time, but he was going on holiday for a few days. He then said that anyone can do the retrieval, but transfer is very important. I remember him looking at me and saying that he would’ do my transfer. Honestly, I would have been very happy with Dr. Fabulous or the RE who did the transfer for IVF #2. Anyway, I was pleased when the OR nurse told me that Dr. Wonderful would in fact do today’s transfer.

There was a slight hiccup when the embryologist came in to speak with me about the embryo quality, and then told me that I could only transfer two. I told the OR nurse that I wanted to speak with Dr. Wonderful. He arrived quickly, and after a bit of back and forth, looking at my chart (4 previous cycles, 9 embryos, 1 child, speaks for itself), he agreed to transfer three. Unfortunately they are not all blasts :( We ended up with one blastocyst, one cavitating morula and one compacting morula.

During the actual transfer we talked about clinics in the U.S., various IVF technologies, the fact that my previous RE at the clinic, Dr. Spectacular, will be the new director of a fancy, schmancy clinic in LA, and just like that, transfer was over. The nurse played back the ultrasound video of the actual transfer, which, even after going through this as many times as I have, is still amazing to watch.

Dr. Wonderful started his post-transfer speech on what to do, not do, then looked at me and said, “Never mind, you already know this.” I got a warm farewell, best wishes, then he and the nurse wheeled me back to recovery, I had a bit of a rest, changed out of the gown and it was time to go.

Now I’m hoping for a relaxing day, or two. Positive thoughts, crossed fingers and prayers are still very much appreciated.

Friday, July 1, 2011

IVF #3, another embryology update

And so, the roller coaster continues. I had been simultaneously waiting impatiently for, and dreading, the embryology phone call I honestly didn’t think we’d have any embryos to transfer tomorrow, after the previous update.

Well, I spoke to the embryologist this afternoon. I had a very hard time understanding her, but it sounds as if all five embryos are still alive. ::faints:: That said, only two of them are compacting (on their way to becoming blasts), two more are rather slow and one is not doing well at all.

Since we are leaving next month, we really can’t/ don’t want to freeze any and leave them behind. Add in that I’ve failed both of my frozen cycles. Add in that they probably don't meet freezing criteria anyway. It sounds as though we’ll probably have two, maybe three tomorrow, so I’ll talk to Dr. Fabulous in the morning, and see what number she feels comfortable transferring. True to form, I’ve done research on transfer numbers, ad nauseam, and I know what I’m comfortable with, but the final decision is that of Dr. Fabulous and the clinic.

As always, I’d appreciate healthy embryo thoughts for tomorrow. I’ll update when I get home.