Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Next Caller

First OB appointment today... except the OB I chose didn't exactly set my world on fire. She kept me waiting over 20 minutes in her exam room, which isn't a good sign if I'm looking for an OB that's sensitive to a working woman's schedule the way my RE was. She also said something that stuck in my mind like a splinter: "if we make it to the third trimester..." Ain't nobody trying to hear that! I also expected to have an ultrasound -- she could see for herself what's up & I could be assured that she's trying to stay on top of things. I learned that you don't always get an ultrasound at the first appointment, but I wanted it anyway. I also got more information about future OB scheduling from the receptionist than the doctor.

Right then I said to myself, I gotta find another OB. Next caller! I have my next monthly appointment with another doctor in the practice so I'll see about her. The receptionist said she's one of the faves in the practice so at least there's that to go on.

OB woman did say that she'd likely deliver via c-section at 37 weeks. She said it like she was sharing bad news but I already knew about needing a c-section given both my fibroid surgeries & told her so.

My RE completely spoiled me for anybody else! I was so heavily monitored & it's has finally sunk in that I'm not going to get that level of attention from an OB.

I did request a more involved NT scan, which she did arrange for later this afternoon with a separate office. It was awesome! Talked with an awesome grandfatherly genetics doctor that walked me through what I was seeing & how both babies were measuring normally. Thanks be to God. Grandpop was so much more reassuring than ol' girl that I wished he could be my OB.

I'm measuring 12w2d :-) Keep it up, babies!! Guess I enter my 2nd trimester gestation-wise on August 10th but developmentally (according to this awesome IVF due dating site) I entered it yesterday. I'll just feel so much better in 9 days! Felt so happy after the scan. I'm still cautious with my emotions but always working to keep the faith too. Taking each day as it comes.

I was also asked to be in two research studies today so bring on the minimal compensation & extra ultrasounds! Ooh, don't I wish I had a lot more $$ saved. That's for another post!

Gotta walk the animals before the Olympics swim finals... I am so caught up in these games! Three cheers for London -- aside from the trapped-in-a-puppet-nightmare opening ceremony London has done a smash-up job. Damnit, I cried when the female cyclist from the Netherlands won her race in dramatic style! Go USA but especially as a child of immigrants I have so much admiration for so many of these athletes from across the world. Just wish Russia would've had Sean John or somebody else design their team jackets, they're horrid  --

I'm so incredibly happy for Sunflower!!

Beans, come October you're next!!

To all other IF/SMBC friends, there's so much magic in believing... you stay in my prayers & meditations so I already know that it's just a matter of time :-)

Friday, July 27, 2012


Normal scan, thank God! And I finally heard their heartbeats for the first time, absolutely incredible. Let out a laugh that came from my soul. And they were bouncing around in their little sacs. Too amazing. Also found out that there are 2 placentas for each sac.

Beans, it didn't cross my mind that it'd be more of a challenge to see them! It helped greatly that they were in good positions and the tech was able to take measurements more easily. Gotta wait 1-2 weeks for blood test results.

Thought I turned a corner with the fatigue, but no! And I have had a nonstop headache for going on 2 days! I'm so tired but it's not easy to sleep with my head carrying on. I know I can take Tylenol but I don't wanna take any drugs minus the PIO.

Yawn with a nice stretch. Off to bed, hopefully :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Next Up: NT Scan

Ooh, it's nice to have a moment where my eyes don't feel like weights. I'm feeling rather awake today & think I've turned a corner (as I thought a few days ago before taking a 3-hour nap at 11 o'clock in the morning). Went for an ultrasound yesterday & both babies have almost caught up to each other -- 11 weeks & 11w2d with strong heartbeats, praise Jesus!

I go in for a nuchal translucency (NT) scan on Friday. It's incredible all the early milestones we have to 'pass' with IVF:
- Day 3 for FSH/AMH blood test
- Day 1 of cycle
- Begin Estrace or some other pill
- Pre-ultrasound before stimming
- Pay for stim drugs
- Ultrasounds every other day or so
- May have to adjust stims
- Exact timing of HCG shot or else
- Clearance for egg retrieval
- Hope for eggs at egg retrieval
- Wait to hear if they fertilized with fertilization report
- Go back for embryo transfer
- Wait 2 extra-long weeks for results
- Go back weekly for ultrasounds when you get the BFP
- Continue with labs to see if PIO needs adjusting + if HCG is doubling
- Sacs & fetal poles to see
- Heart rates, crown-to-rump sizing by gestation
- Clear the 6 week hurdle (didn't know about that until week 7 & thank God)
- Find an OB
- Hope you find a good OB
- NT scan... where I am now, going on Friday
- Wait for NT scan results, 1-2 weeks
- Wait to get the hell out of the first trimester
- Coast through the second & third trimester
- Healthy babies!

Now I know I floated through the last 2 bullets; still studying up on gestational diabetes & preeclampsia & other terrific milestones to clear. Just move from worry about becoming pregnant to worry about the pregnancy... girl, just wait til the babies come! I am a bit anxious about Friday's scan, though, but I'm visualizing it going well, just having faith in that. Praying daily (& through every moment of anxiety) & trusting God has kept me truly sane & just a bit happy.

I'll be released from my RE after the scan! I have been so blessed to work with this office & these people, have been a bit spoiled with the close monitoring & weekly ultrasounds. My first appointment with my new OB is next Tuesday. Hope she's good. Was looking for OBs out of a certain Chicago practice & I found her online. Of her specialties she has experience with twin gestation & advanced maternal age... that's me!

Got my sense of taste back! I'm only dealing with gross aftertastes but popping an Altoid has worked wonders. I've been eating more & drinking milk, not to mention that I've gone through 2 cartons of Oreo ice cream in 2 days. Aside from that I'm only craving fruits & healthier fare, still can't stand the sight of nuts & sweets like cake or candy. Been sneezing a lot more, heartburn comes and goes. Still keeping up my nightly ritual of PIO shots.

I'm off work for a bit & have the nerve to want to catch up on sleep. I had a list of all these things I'd like to accomplish, but my body's telling me to rest. I just watched the movie 'Margaret' yesterday with Anna Paquin -- she can act her Kiwi *ss off! I'd be surprised if she isn't nominated for an Oscar.

Gonna walk my beasts around the block & then watch 'Fast Five' for the third time -- fantastic chase scenes + seeing The Rock's thick-sweaty-pretty-smiling-sexy *ss will make for a nice triple encore.

I've been experiencing hot flashes off & on for the better part of an hour! This isn't the first time; I dismissed the other times because of how hot it's been. I feel the heat & sweat for a few minutes, then it passes. Went online & read that it may be due to hormone fluctuations. Interesting!

(I'm praying for you, MN.)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gummy Bears

Didn't realize it's been so long since I've posted! Spending most of my days nodding off in the middle of sentences or taking naps... time just flies by :-) And my old puppies are still here, thanks for all your tips & concern! Maybe he knew what I was considering so he found a little bit of gusto to prove there's life in him yet! My poochie poos are the best, my heros.

I'll be 10 weeks on Tuesday (here, here) & finally made an appointment with an OB. Made the mistake, though, of scheduling it the week before I'm released from my RE so I'm going to have to reschedule for the first week in August. Still continuing with the PIO shots.

But I do go back to the RE on Monday for my weekly ultrasound. They're looking like gummy bears & their heartbeats continue to be strong. It's amazing how hard they're working to grow & I pray each day that they continue to do so. I'm still in the first trimester & am just asking them to keep up the great work!

The house looks a train wreck so I thought I'd take some time vacuuming, picking up dog hair, throwing out trash... now I'm experiencing spasms in my lower right abdomen, painless signs that I gotta slow down. My waistline is thickening, belly's a bit more noticeable & my *ss is HUGE. In other words, I'm a biggun. The acne has slowed down but I think that's more to do with the acne face wash & astringent.

Food has the nastiest aftertaste. I can't find anything that tastes good. Sandwiches are gross, iced tea tastes like swill. Everything tastes to the left. I had the worst metallic taste in my mouth a few days ago, didn't even want to eat for the rest of the day. My acupuncturist reassured me that hydration is more important in the first trimester so even if I can't find consistency in my appetite (I go from no appetite at all to total starvation) I should just work on staying hydrated.

I am not complaining! Gotta chronicle these changes that I had no idea pregnant women experience. But still no morning sickness, just occasional queasiness & food aversions (I miss my almonds! Wanna puke just looking at the word!). My tailbone was giving me hell to last week & finally my back feels normal.

I have a friend who confided in me that she wants to pursue being an SMBC, best news all week! I gave her my RE's & my acupuncturist's names, shared my supplement tips, & just told her that I'll support her any way I can. She's a few years younger than me & feels ready to give this a try. I'm so happy she's starting now; a few years ago when I was her age I was still holding out for a significant other & his sperm. See how that turned out!

Think I'll keep sitting here in this soft, comfortable chair & finish Die Hard with a Vengeance. I didn't realize how much I miss real chase scenes with not a seat belt in sight & bona fide explosions of subways & entire city blocks... have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Best Friends

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite days of the year, but this year it's unexpectedly been the hardest. I bawled this morning over the realization that one of my dearest dogs isn't getting any better. He's 13 years old, has arthritis and plenty of lameness, has congestive heart failure, and now he's vomiting at least once a day. Strange as this sounds, I've been hoping that he would just pass away in his sleep because the thought of having to take him in to be euthanized is unfathomable. When he threw up again this morning the reality of his decline hit me so hard. No matter what I do, no supplements or orthopedic foam is changing the fact that there's nothing I can do to make him better.

My family took in two dogs of the same litter 13 years ago & my life hasn't been the same since. I raised these dogs, I love these dogs. They truly are my best friends. I wonder how the other dog will be alone without his brother. I already had it in mind that neither dog would make it to the fall (the cold would be absolute hell on their joints) but with one so much sicker than the other I didn't think that his time would come so soon. I told my parents this morning (they live out of state), and they were so very sad, kept saying, "The poor thing." When they moved they did a swift job of it, and because they left like thieves in the night the least sickly dog has separation anxiety -- he doesn't let me out of his sight at all, sweet crazy dog! My parents still feel guilty about it and now that one of the dogs might have to be euthanized they wish they could see him one last time.

And wouldn't you know that as infirm as he is as soon as I motioned that it was time for a walk that sick old dog popped up like a puppy and was prancing circles around me! Lame, in pain, none of that matters when he wants to get to the out of doors. Contradicting moments like that, that's what makes this so hard. Given that it's 100 degrees outside I thought I would just take them to the corner and back (he can't stand a tip toe outside just to come back in five minutes later). So we went the whole way around the hot *ss block because if these are his last days I want him to have it all. When we came in he plopped his happy self in front of the central air vent and is knocked out. I was thinking that Monday would be the day but I'm going to pray on it. I don't want him suffering, I also don't want to put him down before the twinkle in his eyes go out. Lord, I don't know what to do.

I've been giving him dog aspirin at night for his joints and I feel that's contributing to his stomach upset. I'm gonna cut that out and just keep them both on their morning prescription arthritis medicine (Previcox, best drug ever) + other joint supplements.

On happier news I am 8 weeks and a day! Twins are progressing beautifully and now I've been given the directive to find an OB. I haven't posted in so long because this fatigue is something else! Once I visit a few blogs I hardly have energy enough to write. Now I set an alarm to wake me at night to take my PIO shot! No appetite, nothing appeals to me at all. No morning sickness either aside from a few queasy moments here and there.

It would be a such a happy miracle if my puppies were around in 7 more months. God willing, I would love for my babies to meet them. But God also knows that I'm glad for each day with these best friends of mine.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Promotion

Went back to the RE today & saw another lovely ultrasound! Today they measured 7 weeks; I asked, did they have a growth spurt between last Thursday's ultrasound & today's?, she said she got a much better view today so she had a much better vantage from which to measure. She's pretty on target because based on my egg retrieval/fertilization it'd be exactly 7 weeks tomorrow.  Heartbeats measured at 127 each, too.  Now I only have to go to the RE weekly instead of twice a week. I look so forward to the ultrasounds but am thankful for the progress that this promotion has led to. Just keep thanking God.

Acupuncture today... she wanted to do moxa on my back to help with my overwhelming fatigue (hit me like a hammer in early afternoon) but I had to pass because I need to budget. But I did feel a wee more energetic after just laying there for about 30 minutes. I go back this weekend.

I shouldn't this close to bedtime but I have to take a nap. Eyes closing as I write. Better set my alarm for tonight's PIO shot in the *ss.

But before I say hey to the sandman I must congratulate MN on her BFP today!!!! God is good, such wonderful news :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hearts A Flutter

Corny title but I can't help it! Great day! Saw the heartbeats!!

I was worried yesterday because I was having spasms/twitching mostly in my lower abdomen so was glad that I had to go in for an ultrasound today. The tech checked my tubes to make sure that the third embryo wasn't growing somewhere in my tubes. I had no idea that the embryos would travel like that, thought that with IVF/egg transfers the possibility of ectopic pregnancies was totally eliminated. But the nurse said that it's likely that my interior's moving things around to make room for the babies. Good, because I didn't know what to think!

But I saw both sacs again & they look fantastic! Just gorgeous. One is measuring 5w6d & the other at 6w0d. But it was the fluttering of their hearts that made me emotional. The tech had to point it out to me because the activity was small on the screen & was happening so quickly. I can't remember which had what heartbeat rate but one measured at 115 bpm & the other at 117 bpm. Right within the normal range, thank God! I was smiling sooooooooo hard. I'll be able to hear them in a couple of weeks. Beta was 47,000 (it was 21,293 on Monday) so I'm right on track, praise Him! I go back to the RE on Monday.

These twice-weekly visits are helpful to my peace of mind. All these co-pays are going to put me over the top for 2012 deductions! And I go back for acupuncture on Saturday, counting those receipts too!

Told my mother & could tell how happy & relieved she was to hear how they're doing.  It made me very happy to tell her. It makes me feel awesome that, through God, I'm giving her something to be joyful about.

I hardly have any appetite but still have to eat. Great news is that now that I am not craving sugar I am actually eating better. (Is this what it's like not being a slave to sweets?!) Have added lentils for protein (thanks for the tip, Beans!). Still tired & took a nap this afternoon but have just come down from a burst of energy. House looks a shameful mess so I took a little time to clean up. Am continuing with the PIO shots.

Very proud that I'm drinking lots of water given the fact I never drank enough. And this is ice tea season! Sharp, tingling sensation that alternates breasts a few times a day. Abdomen feels heavier today, & I've been bloated for weeks.

I don't know why I haven't told my friends that I have twins on board. I've only told my mother. I'm already a pretty secretive person & it was plenty to tell 3 of my friends about my BFP. I told the third friend yesterday -- she gave me a ride home from ET weeks ago (I needed a ride & had no choice but to ask her) &  I haven't spoken to her since that day. She was worried so left me a message, & when I called her back I told her. I've been debating whether I'll tell my other 2 friends, but for now I'm comfortable waiting until the second trimester, God willing.

I did tell them that I used a Caucasian donor, though... I'm Black, by the way, & I thought that by tossing in that detail while I was TTC was worth mentioning! They didn't bat an eye & I didn't expect them to. The bank I used had, like, one Black donor & he wanted to remain anonymous so that was definitely not an option. I chose a donor with dark characteristics. Plan was that my offspring would look in the mirror & see more of me & not live life til 18 wondering where their blue-green-hazel eyes came from, for example. The sperm bank also was having a sale specifically on IVF sperm, actually... if anyone told me that I would be in the middle of this kind of conversation I would've said more than, "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?"

Rambling now, I'm beat! I didn't sleep at all last night & I attribute that to the long nap I took earlier that day + the anxiety over the spasms & twitches. I'd go to bed but don't want to risk missing my nightly PIO shot time like I almost did a couple nights ago.

Turned off the damn AC (I cannot stand artificial coldness or coldness of any kind but I have pets, can't let them suffer & bake)! It's about 80 with low humidity & a nice lakefront breeze. Windows & front door are open, it's a beautiful night. In Chicago :-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Few Observations

Had another ultrasound today & fetal poles were detected! I go back on Thursday, & in about another week or so I'll be able to hear the heartbeats :-)

Still tired & I fluctuate between eating everything in sight to not having much of an appetite. Could likely be the progesterone doing this to me since it's pretty high. And my face looks like a pizza! Zits everywhere & to others I've blamed it on the heat but I know better... PIO strikes again! Oh well, small price to pay so no problem. I'm working super hard to get in more protein too (per RE's nurse & my acupuncturist). I'm a sugar addict & nothing with lots of protein is sweet. Except for yogurt, could never get past the rotten-milk smell so that's out. Been eating almonds like crazy, too.

Speaking of smells, my sense of smell goes bionic at times. It was especially noticeable today when a coworker was eating something with ranch dressing. I personally don't like creamy dressings that have color because my mind believes it has to be nasty... thousand island is crunchy & horrible, ranch smells sour & has too much damn tang. But when I got a whiff of that ranch today I had to cover my nose, it was rank! Matter of fact, lunchtime was hell in the office because there were too many different smells coming from everywhere. Another coworker was heating up some kind of chicken & the smell was overwhelming & gross. I couldn't take it & got the heck out.

Tried to eat Kashi cereal with some almond milk (cut back on cow's milk a while ago) so I could get some protein with fiber. It was like trying to chew sticks & rocks. Going back to Raisin Bran, it's been a while but I can get some additional folic acid + it actually tastes good. Trying so hard to eat better for the fetuses!

Still working on staying hydrated, especially in this heat. And it is hot! I love it!

(God bless Rodney King.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Two sacs!  Two sacs were seen today on my ultrasound!  Only one was seen on the first ultrasound this week but given that it was still early there was a possibility that another may appear, & I'm so (cautiously) happy about that. In my heart I hoped that I'd have twins! (I'm also about 5 weeks along.)

Beta #3 was a nice 6,112 & I go back on Monday for another ultrasound & blood draw. My RE says she'd like me to come in twice a week until the twelfth week when (God willing) I'm released to an OB. I'm also doing acupuncture twice a week for the same timeframe. The regularity of those visits will adjust the further I'm along.

Aside from fatigue & a bout of killer gas two days ago I feel mostly the same. My apetite's shifted a bit, though. I don't really have a desire to eat until nighttime. It's not like I'm turned off by anything, I'm just not very hungry in the morning to the afternoon.

Psychologically, I still think I'm in a bit of shock. I don't think everything's fully dawned on me so I'm not feeling too panicked between visits. But now that I know there are two in me my prayer is that they both grow & develop normally, that they both stick around for each other!

I do have to learn to be happy about the possibilities of this pregnancy, to not allow fear to cloud my joy. I should be able to enjoy every minute of this good news. It's still so early yet so my prayer is that as time & their development progress, I'll be able to be comfortable with all these wonderful changes. Trusting God with all of this!

But enough about me! I'm praying for MN who had her FET yesterday! Ooh, I'm praying for a 2WW that just flies by that also results in a happy lil BFP :-)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Progress & Progressing

It's been a surreal past few days! I feel the same but the world looks different, almost like I took the red pill & can see the Matrix. For real, I can't explain it.

My beta on Friday was 742 & today it's 1985, which the nurse said was good. All this doubling business is lost on me. As long as the numbers are moving in the right direction is all I care about. I also saw the sac today... looking at the monitor it was hard to believe I was looking at my own innards with the little bit of life starting there.

When I got my BFP I texted the same pic I posted here on Friday to my mother. Bless her heart, when I called her & told her to look at the picture she truly didn't understand what she was looking at. I used a digital EPT & she looked at it, reading aloud she said with her heavy accent, "Eee pee tee? What is that? I don't know what that is, Eee pee tee?" Now, in her elderly defense I don't even think she knows any brands of HPTs, it was a minor miracle that she was even able to open the text.

I told her to forget about Eee pee tee, just look to the left of the pic, look at the word in the window. "Pregnant? What? Who?" The lady forgot I was getting my results on Friday. Awesome! She's not the most emotional person on the planet but she genuinely was happy, albeit with a bit of cautious warning about keeping quiet for the time being. I'm not telling my father until I make it to the second trimester, God willing. He has no idea about my TTC, let alone as a single woman. He wants his kids to be happy so I know that he will accept it when the time comes, not sure if he'll grasp the concept of donor sperm & artificial insemination. Both my parents are foreign & this whole process is not grasp-able for him. Told two of my dearest friends who know about my SMC goal & they were ecstatic. Got an appointment with my acupuncturist on Saturday & hugged her like crazy. She said I should start coming twice a week & I go back tomorrow (& Thursday).

I feel guilty not telling one of my best friends but, bless her, she can worry the salt off a cracker. I don't mind keeping this a secret, especially since it's so very early. But I'm surprisingly calm, happy. I trust God with all this, there's a peace in that.

There were a couple times during the 2WW that, in retrospect, could have been signs that this cycle worked. On Tuesday, the same day I broke down & took the HPT, I had a quickly passing nausea after sipping on a cup of my decaf. It tasted funny & made my stomach a little queasy. I didn't even finish it & dismissed the feeling as a side effect of the PIO shots. Except that it was on 11dp3dt when HCG begins to be secreted according to my trusty chart. Perhaps? And on that Friday as I was walking to my RE's office to get my beta blood drawn the smell of the city was pungent. This same walk I've taken for ages all of a sudden had a smell that was almost unbearable. Now this city has its funky moments but not on that Friday morning. Maybe a sign?

The only thing that's different about how I feel now is I have zits all over my face. Began towards the end of last week. Just finished a whitehead popping marathon. Zits along with fatigue. Both may still be attributed to the PIO.  I still have to continue the shots & absolutely don't mind at all. Doing the shots in my *ss now may take about 5 minutes with hardly any blood. Shooting anywhere above the crack's a winner! I'm also intentionally trying to drink lots of water... it's hot as hell (finally!) but the nurse also told me to + she said I have to keep up protein.

I'm still not quite sure how they calculate the days, forgot to ask today. 4w3d, maybe? I go back on Thursday & I'll ask then.

(Thanks, friends, for your wonderful congratulations :-)

Friday, June 8, 2012

It Really is a Miracle

Stunned, happy, grateful to God & here is my testimony... I got a BFP today :-)

I got the call this afternoon, used a pregnancy test so I could see for myself:

I go back on Monday for a second beta & an ultrasound!

Ooh, God, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Finally! Beta Day's tomorrow, thanks be to God I made it!

So many thanks to everyone for all your positivity & kindness through this grueling cycle, you have no idea how much it's meant.

Talk to you tomorrow :-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

God is Good, All the Time

My faith is strong but my feelings were running the gamut. I, finally, with all the seriousness in my heart, on my drive to work I had to ask God for strength to get me through these last few days. As soon as I did, I felt a peace, a relief.

Even with my faith & optimism, sometimes negativity creeps in & eventually it makes a home in my head. The same negativity where doubt about embarking on this adventure leads me to believe this will never work. And I just like that I forget that I have more power, more courage than I give myself credit for. I force myself to smile until I feel it from the heart because it's the best, cheapest therapy I can find (then I crack up because I imagine I must look crazy, hard to feel bad through real laughter). I ask God for strength to move me through these moments. And I receive it. The loop of self-doubt interrupts for a sec & I can feel God's grace comfort me. And I'm asking for strength all day long because it's a constant crumble-rebuild-crumble-rebuild.

I remember that He's brought me through everything, has led me to TTC on my own, & certainly wouldn't leave me when I need Him most.

I'm incredibly spiritual & thank God for that because church & me don't get along too tough. I feel God's blessings & direction, I have to remind myself that no matter what I'll be ok.

I pray for peace & blessings for family, friends, pets & people I meet & people I don't know. I think that should cover everybody on planet Earth. I'm praying for Evelyn, my 2ww cycle-sister-buddy, whose support & resilience will be such a wonderful example for the children she'll carry & raise. I pray for all IFs, SMBCs & for anyone who has love to share with children borne of us, God willing.

Thank you, God, in advance.

(And please take a moment to pray for Jen, in early pregnancy with twins & who was having contractions as early as yesterday.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thank You, False Hope

Warning: This is a cussing-ist *ss post. This was the day for it.

When I awoke this 11dp3dt morning I felt sadness... fear about this cycle overtook me. My tears started around the time when I noticed that my abdomen felt different, felt less active. It could've been the HCG booster that I took on Saturday was beginning to wear off because every time I take that shot my ovaries start to act up soon after. My abdomen actually felt a bit normal & that scared the hell out of me.

So what did I do?

Let me tell you what I did: I reached for my very-last leftover Family Dollar HPT & used that m*therf*cker! Of course it came up positive, could still be the residual booster... but I didn't care, I didn't care, I didn't care. I needed to see those 2 m*therf*cking lines on that cheap *ss test TO-DAY. Like methadone to a heroin addict, it ain't the real thing but it'll do for now. Needed that hope, didn't matter that it was false, to help me get through the day & to renew my confidence.

I felt so much better after doing it, too. Can't even begin to tell you. I smiled & shook my head at my fool *ss, told myself out loud "it's all right, you're all right, keep it moving, girl" & washed my face. And I kept it moving, too, feeling much, much better. That HPT saved me!

I refuse to put myself down for breaking down & testing. Hell, I'm only human. The 2WW is hard enough without me piling it on. Bless that HPT, it was a perfect pacifier; I'll bid it a fond farewell when I take the trash out tonight.

The 2WW is a masochistic enterprise so if I can take a little control of it, that's what I'll do. Single, check. No man on the horizon, check. Fibroids vet, check. Infertility bullsh*t, check. Multiple IVFer, check. Gained at least 10 lbs. in the last 2 months, check. Second 2WW, check. I'm not complaining, just taking an inventory because even as I type this I feel proud of myself for even putting myself through & growing from this sh*t. Just trying to build a family of my own, that's all... & God helps those who help themselves.

To TTC as an SMBC takes two-ton balls of m*therf*cking steel. It takes brave m*therf*ckers to put themselves through these emotions, these pills, these shots, these appointments, these vaginal probes, these retrievals, these transfers, these two long-*ss m*therf*cking weeks. And I commend us! So, sh*t, false hope is better than no hope at all. And that's true all day long... at least until Friday!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Wish I Could Test

9dp3dt! I wish I could take a pregnancy test.  I go in for my beta on Friday, but it would be such a comfort to know ahead of time. I had to take another HCG booster shot yesterday so even if I wanted to test I couldn't (have had a total of 4 HCG booster shots since ET).

During IVF #1 I tested before going to the doctor's office for the official test. When I got the results I felt terrible but it didn't sting as much because I was somewhat prepared. But this cycle isn't affording me the luxury. That's ok -- I'd rather take a booster shot everyday with the hopes that I'm increasing my chances than not, thank you, Lord.

Been feeling PMS-y these last couple days, no side effects (i.e., 'symptoms') to speak of. Booty's starting to feel sore from the PIO shots too. I went out on Friday night & had to pre-fill a syringe & shoot up in a public washroom before rejoining my peoples.

Just have to hang on for 5 more days! Argh!! Funny thing about time, though, is it drags & goes by quickly at the same time.  ET was 9 days ago even though it seems like it was just yesterday. But now I have to wait 5 more days & that feels like an eternity. Work this week will be slower than last week as well so I'm going to have to keep myself busy. Main concern is that around this time during IVF #1 I started to lose hope, my spirit knew it didn't work. Right now I'm not there, which is a good thing. I want to remain hopeful & keep my faith in this until I find out on Friday. To lose hope earlier than that would truly hurt.

I wish somebody would invent a micro-nano-super powerful ultrasound machine that would be able to see implantation! Turn a 2ww into a 1ww... anybody can hold out for just about anything for a week. Having to wait for 2 is like trying to stay above water while having an anchor tied to your leg.

Thank God the sun is out! If this were a grey-er day, I'd be in the bed & would stay there til Friday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This is Madness

Today was incredibly rough. The stress & worry of whether implantation is starting to occur really got to me today starting from the moment I woke up. 5dp3dt would be about the time when some real action would be happening & I can't help but wonder: Are they perfect blastocysts now? Are they making a home in my lining? Do they have big plans to dig a little deeper tomorrow? I am usually such an optimist & can quickly pull myself out of down moments. It's my nature & I'm thankful for that. But today's got me in such a place I'm sitting here with a damn near 1 lb. party size bag of peanut M&Ms & I'm more than halfway through.

9 more days to go until I go in for my beta. And did I mention that it feels like my period's about to start? Yes, yes, I know that for practically every woman there's a feeling that AF's coming... then surprise! BFP! And it can equally go the other way too. The 2ww is truly f*cks with your mind. I feel awful, then I try to convince myself to buck up, keep moving, think about happy possibilities. I then talk myself out of that, don't want to hope too much & set myself up for failure & a helluva fall. I do this dance in my hormonal brain throughout every minute of the day! And I can't even have a drink!!

No more wet dreams either. Wish I would feel comfortable having one, it'd break up some of this 2ww madness & maybe I could lighten up! I could use a vacation... can't go nowhere til beta day! Would love to do some housework therapy, but I'm not supposed to vacuum! Want to garden, can't lift the potting soil bag! But I'm not complaining :-)

Went in for blood work & vaginal ultrasound on Tuesday (was surprised about the ultrasound but they didn't go up too far). Ovaries looking good. Good news, they've been active non-stop since the retrieval. The left one has more rage. Just gave myself another flawless PIO shot & finished the bottle. Start a new bottle tomorrow. Don't know why I can't remember to wipe the top off with alcohol before inserting the needle.

Have to do another HCG booster shot tomorrow, & then I go back for labs on Friday. Again, I have to give high praise for my RE. I never got this level of monitoring during IVF #1. It's reassuring that they're doing EVERYTHING possible to help me get & stay pregnant. God bless her & her team.

Feels good letting this all out. The 2ww's a good time to work on my soul & faith, the rest of this madness, be gone!


Monday, May 28, 2012

Damn 2WWet Dream

In my sleep last night I remember all kinds of sex imagery floated round. I remember giving in & pulling back, how the developing sensations were akin to having an orgasm. I remember trying to suppress it in the end but to no avail. I remember feeling relaxed, at ease like I had really done something.

I cannot believe I had a wet dream during my 2ww.  Thought the 'big O' was a no-no. No sex neither (now that'll hardly be a problem at this stage of the game). Funny thing, though, is that I didn't wake up feeling panicked or stressed about it. "Oh no, did I jostle the embies?" I took my post-climax, 3dp3dt self out & ran some errands (damn near skipped out the door), became a part of life now that I'm no longer a shut in. Decided to Sherlock it when I got home.

Got online (of course) & started researching 'orgasm + 2ww' & was amazed at how many women shared this experience! Hormones out of whack, engorged uterus, PIO shots side effect... no one seems to know what can bring it on during the 2ww but for once my Google search yielded results that actually helped to reassure me. I'm afraid to think what's next! IF is like a box of chocolates...

But just for the peace of mind, I hope I don't cum again before I go for my beta! (ha ha)

In other news, my word, it's only been 3 days since transfer. 11 more to go! 264 hours not including today. It's not a sprint, it's a race that's decided a week before you cross the finish line. Been having my moments of doubt & it's been a constant push-pull to maintain the optimism. Now that the embryos should start doing something (like implant) I'm feeling a bit of anxiety wondering if they're chugging along like I'm hoping they are. No way to know, just have to maintain my faith no matter how hard. I'm actually looking forward to going to work tomorrow. And if you knew the kind of work I do you'd probably say, "Tsk tsk tsk, now that's f*cked up. Poor baby."

Looking outside, this has got to be one of the most beautiful days we've had in a while.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


It's only been 2 days since the transfer! Feels like longer, especially when I'm limiting activity & only have my mini-encampment with the circumference as 4 inches around my recliner as my home-in-a-home. I thought about getting more active but I'll feel better if I take one more day.  This being IVF #2 makes me more comfortable in some ways & more cautious in others.  I only somewhat rested the day of transfer the last time & was back to my routine thereafter; can't hurt to try things another way per this new RE, it will bring me peace of mind.

I spoke too soon about the ease of the PIO shot on Friday.  My cocky self, that night when I gave my injection all was ok until I withdrew the needle -- it was a bloodbath!  Ugh, blood came out & dripped on the floor, took a while to stop too.  Sorry for the visual but, hell, that messed me up. The spot still hurts too & that was Friday night. And since I can't take the stairs I couldn't take the rugs downstairs to wash.  That damn shot humbled the hell outta me. I took special care last night & the shot was nice & clean.

I was warned not to eat foods that may make me gassy post-transfer because of what my body's been through last week.  Damn shame I only have peanuts & nachos to eat. Did I mention I don't cook? Also drinking room temperature water to keep uterus warm per my acupuncturist. (Cheated once in a while with some deliciously ice cold lemonade.) Physically I feel the same minus the gas. Breasts felt sore after each of the two HCG shots & I haven't felt any side effects of the PIO.

Wonder how my embies are? Fine, I hope! According to this chart they should be developing into blasts. Wish there was a way to tell (this is where faith steps in)...

Speaking of which, damned internet & IVF searches... haven't been able to stay off! It's a menace. And there's just so much ID Discovery I can take -- I think I've watched every 'Sins & Secrets', 'Cold Blood', 'Unusual Suspects' & 'I (Almost) Got Away With It' episode ever made. HGTV's all about yards & room crashing on the weekends, boring. Gonna see what's on TCM, love black & white movies & I'm sure there'll be war movies on all day.

Thank God tomorrow's Memorial Day. No work, can finally get out & about, call family members who are vets & thank them for all they've sacrificed for this country. But I'll knock out another HCG booster shot tomorrow morning before I do.

Only my mom & 3 friends know about this recent IVF cycle. I love them. They've been so supportive about all this. I am thankful to Jesus for another try at IVF. I have a single friend that I'd love to tell about what I'm doing but she's one of those negative, cup-half-empty people (but has a generous heart, that's the only reason we're still friends). She'll be 36 this year & I know she'd never think about going the SMBC/SMC route even though she wants a family. She's one of those types that says that if there's no man in the picture, then maybe a family isn't meant to be. Not trying to judge her but I can't understand pinning my hopes & dreams on a man that may never appear while my biological clock thunders in the background. As a matter of fact that used to be me until I came to my senses.

God willing this is a success, I can hear her now, "You're crazy. Why would you even want to be a single parent on purpose?" Because I can, that's why! Beautiful thing about life. You can make your own happiness.

Longer post than I intended. That's what happens when you have tons of free time.

God bless & thank all of you for sharing your positive vibes & best of lucks! I feed off of good energy, please know it means a lot. And if you could share some with sister SMBC'er at Baby Makes 2 (she also had her transfer on Friday) that would be awesome :-)

Early wishes for a happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 25, 2012


The 2WW has begun! Just relaxing, taking it easy while afloat on Valium. Supposed to stay off my feet as much as possible today but as an SMBC I don't have the convenience of having someone to fetch me water or bring me a blanket. So I've made a temporary camp here in this recliner where I have everything I need... lip gloss, phone, computer, water, remote controls, chips.

I was told to take an HCG booster shot today, which I did, & another on Monday.  PIO as usual too for the duration.  Took a Levaquin, 2 more to go.

And my RE helped me figure out exactly where the PIO goes! I knew upper/outer quadrant of the booty cheek but I was still concerned whether I was actually getting it in the muscle.  She said the best way to do it was to go from where the crack is & that upper/outer area is the muscle. When I got home & did the HCG shot that's just where I did it & it sank in effortlessly, no blood upon needle withdrawal or nothing! Now I can inject with much more confidence that I'm getting the meds into the muscle & not a nerve.

I had plans for Memorial Day weekend but I'm going to count myself out. Just wanna chill & not think about whether I'm doing too much.

God, please help me get through these 14 days! Ooh, why can't I find anything on these 900 channels? Wish this Valium had some time release in it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm All In

Thank goodness I got the call that my embies are still growing so tomorrow's confirmed for transfer! The call came late in the day & I was worried that something was wrong.  I go tomorrow morning & the whole procedure (includes registration, labs & 20 minutes of just sitting there past transfer) should take a little over an hour.  I'm going to be home & off my feet for the next three days per the doctor's orders so I'm glad for the long holiday weekend.

I know different REs have their theory regarding staying off your feet after transfer or to carry on as usual. I don't mind staying home & it'll help with my peace of mind. I'm also still a bit bloated so it'll be nice to relax a bit. I was prescribed a Valium to take when I come home that might help with some of the anxiety of the day! Thank you, doctor, for your progressive transfer protocol!

Went for pre-transfer acupuncture this afternoon. I'm all in, doing it up!

Just took the last of the Prednisone & will take a Levaquin in about an hour.  Also just gave myself another PIO shot, flawless execution -- hardly any blood, needle sank in easily! Slowly pressing on the plunger has helped, no need to rush with oil. I went a little more in the hip (still in the upper outer quadrant) than in my butt since it's harder to find a muscle under all this bootyliciousness.  Even still I'm going to have my doctor take a Sharpie & draw on my behind the exact square footage area where the shot should be given.

Lastly, I feel so much more like my old self now that I'm no longer on these injections (excluding PIO) or Estrace!  I noticed it the most when I awoke this morning.  I don't feel like I'm in a funk anymore, I feel lighter & more me. The weight gain is also more noticeable now that I'm sober from these shots but my cravings have subsided as early as yesterday.

I don't think I'll get online tomorrow either.  Don't want to ruin the effects of the Valium by having a marathon Google-search session about Day X-past transfer... getting it all out of my system tonight :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


3 embies!  I was so happy to get the call this morning that of the 4 eggs, 3 of them fertilized.   Embryo transfer will be Friday morning.  God bless that fourth little egg.  And, always, thank you, God!  I'm going for pre-transfer acupuncture tomorrow, which I certainly need.

Now that it's one day past retrieval my whole abdomen is bloated & gassy. And the gassiness is still from the anesthesia.  The area's still tender but I'm much better than yesterday.  I also walk a bit gingerly because with every step there's just a bit of discomfort.  Here's hoping that some of the bloat & minor pain will subside tomorrow.

Today is day 2 of PIO injections + along with take the Levaquin (antibiotic) & Presnidone (corticosteroid).  Presidone's for one more day (twice a day pill for 3 days) & Levaquin will have to be taken through a bit of next week.

For the PIO shot a friend told me to ice the site before injecting & then heat the area afterwards.  But I'm not having a problem getting the needle in & all I notice is a bruised area from yesterday's shot.  I've read where women have been slightly traumatized by the PIO shots but for me I'm good.  I'd shoot myself up with PIO every day for 9 months vs. taking even one Endometrin insert for just one day.  I say 'ugh' every time I think about the grossness.  Seems that my whole behind will be bruised up from these injections but I'm not complaining.  This whole process can have no concern with vanity!

Best of luck & many blessings to everyone going through any part of this baby-making process.  Praying for you for Friday, Evelyn!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


4 eggs were retrieved today, thank you, God!  Out of 5 follicles, 4 eggs were retrieved & I'll get a (God-willing) good report on fertilization tomorrow.  The egg retrieval process left my ovaries extremely crampy & nauseous from the anesthesia.  My abdominal pain was so intense: the gas from the anesthesia plus a little bit of food given to me by the nurses on top of me moving to get dressed left me puking.  And I immediately felt better!  Those nurses were so nice; I have to get them a thank you card. The pain subsided just a bit after my barf & eight hours later I feel much more like my old self.

Now I start Prednisone, a corticosteroid that suppresses the system's immune system so it won't reject an implanting embryo.  I'm also taking Levaquin, an antibiotic to prevent infection from the egg retrieval process itself.  I'm also to begin Progesterone-in-Oil injections (PIO), 1mL, at night & which I finished shooting up a few minutes ago.  I thought it'd be worse than it was since I have to do it on my own but it went just fine.  Huge 22 gauge needle & I could barely get it through.  That was the same needle size for the HCG, just a little tougher this time around.

My Google fast didn't hold out before the retrieval but I've had no desire to get online & search about success rates, embryo transfer success rates for 3- vs. 5-day transfers... I have no desire to stress myself out tonight or worry needlessly. All I can choose to do is be cool & trust in Him.

I'm happy for my 4 little eggs.  That's one more than the last cycle & for my age with my FSH/AMH scenario & I'm so so grateful for even that many. Speaking it to the universe: My embryos will be implanted on Friday.  In my prayers tonight I'm thanking God for hope, for everything including my RE & will continue to leave it in His hands.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Damn Internet

I had an awesome acupuncture appointment coupled with a massage today.  Asked whether the massage was safe while I'm stimming even though I see a fertility acupuncturist & they also specialize in fertility massages.  Just trying to be on the safe side.  Totally fine, & it was totally great.  Day got busy & I finally made it home.  Now, I originally thought I'd straighten up a bit & then relax for the night.

Fool I am I got right on the internet & started Googling everything having to do with stimming, egg retrieval, uterine lining.  Seeing the dangers, all that can go wrong.  Great morning of relaxation turned into an evening reading about all the worse case scenarios with IVF!

Immediately after posting this I intend to go back on a Google fast.  Ugh.  Gotta stop searching for 'multiple IVF' and anything related to follicle counts & embryo transfers.  Hope that's easier done than said!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tuesday, Go Day

Tuesday's been set as the day for the retrieval!  I continue with the injections & inject the HCG on Sunday night, which is my last injection.  I then return for labs on Monday.

I'm actually afraid to be hopeful but feel much more comfortable with what to expect since this is IVF #2.  It helps that my RE & her team are reassuring + the fact I was able to drop down on doses makes me feel that my body's cooperating much better (vs. that lupron reaction I had the last time & the whole plan being thrown out of wack).

It's like with every lab there's always a chance that the news isn't going to be great.  I have  a history of fibroids, multiple myomectomies, high FSH, and low AMH so I've had my share of gynecological tribulations.  But when I get a call that my blood work is actually normal, or if I'm told that my lining is better than average (thanks, Viagra!), I'm like... ok, this is new, this is good.  My mood is still very cautious & I almost talk myself out of getting really happy.  Who knows what tomorrow may bring but for right now I have to thank God that I'm on the right side of things.  And maybe I can allow myself to be a teeny little bit happy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ganirelix, Old Friend

Tonight I introduced Ganirelix, which I had used in my previous IVF. Except unlike last time this nurse instructed me to do the injections within 24 hours or less of the previous injection.  That the Ganirelix only stays in the system for 24 hours & it's like a gate that starts to swing shut.  It's important to keep that gate wide open, thus Ganirelix must be taken within 24 hours or less of the prior dose.  WHY DIDN'T MY PREVIOUS RE TELL ME THIS?  I will never understand why every doctor can't give the same information to all patients.  All the resources & emotional investment that we put into IVF/IUI/ICI & you would think that there would be a level of consistency & information that can yield the best outcomes. Ugh!

Done with the vent, moving on, getting back on the sunny side of the street... Ganirelix's needle is rather broad but I finally got it in.

My dosages were also decreased on Monday after labs: Follistim down to 300 IU in the a.m., Menopur down to 75 IU in the p.m.  Along with the addition of Ganirelix I'm still continuing with the Viagra.

I love my RE.  Her spirit is that she's rooting for you & will use whatever resources she has to help achieve & keep a pregnancy.  Total opposite from the RE from last fall but you live & learn.  God bless her.

Everything's progressing, I go back to the doctor tomorrow.  I'm just feeling especially tired today so I'm once again making it an early night.

Big, warm hug goes to sister SMC'er Candlelight & Pacifiers... it's always darkest before the dawn :-)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Viagra, the Little White Suppository

Never in my life did I think I'd be taking Viagra.  Alas, never say never!  Tonight's the first night with Viagra (or the generic sildenafil) in the form of a suppository that I have to insert vaginally.  Viagra taken this way in an IVF cycle is supposed to improve the uterine lining to increase the odds of an embryo attaching.  It just came in an unceremonious little white cardboard box & the suppositories weren't even encased in foil.  Practically all white with just a dash of blue.

A total of 10 were prescribed & I was given the ok to start it tonight.  Today's also Day 4 of my period.  Thank God my period's practically nonexistent or else it would have grossed me out to no end to get it up there... middle finger was up to my knuckle because it doesn't come with an applicator.  I was warned not to wear my nice panties while on these as discharge can result as it melts away inside.  Nothing compares to to the nastiness of Endometrin inserts (3 times a day forever, coming out in gushy chunks, treasure box felt gross all day long) so this will be a cakewalk.

Additionally, I began Follistim & Menopur two days ago.  I love the Follistim pen!  Easiest thing in the world to use.  I was shown how to use by a nurse but forgot since that was over a month ago; found this video on Youtube that served as a great refresher.  Menopur's already an old friend since I used it last time.  450 IUs of Follistim in the morning, 150 IUs Menopur at night.

Viagra, large doses, little bit of hope, lotta prayer, all for me... onward!

Monday, May 7, 2012


I'm finally off Estrace & I feel so much more like myself.  That damn Estrace kept me in a month-long funk, I had the blues every single day.  Being on birth control pills vs. Estrace, though, is far better given my age.  From what my RE explained BCPs can be harsher on the system & may not do ovaries service.  Estrace is more appropriate but I'm still cloudy as to why.  Emotionally, Estrace put me through it!  BCPs just got me fat even though I have put on weight being on Estrace.  I'm also unmotivated to work out because I don't want to lose weight while I'm stimming.  I'm also off taking the progesterone pill so no more fear of allergic reaction.
But I finally got my period & start injections this week.  The nurse said it was going to be heavy given the effects of the Estrace for as long as I did.   I'm also increasing my protein intake per her advice but am struggling with cutting back on sugar.  Feel like I'm rambling!  Nice rainy night, perfect for bedtime.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Allergic to Progesterone Pills!

I cannot believe it, seems that I'm allergic to progesterone pills!  First the Lupron, now this... bottom lip started feeling fuller than normal but being that I've been so fatigued (side effect of Estrace; taking 6-2mg pills in the morning & 4-2mg in the evening) I mustered up enough energy to brush it off.  About an hour ago it became obvious that my bottom lip felt big as hell.  I doubt it's the Estrace because I've been taking it for over a month.  Just started the progesterone pill, though, a few days ago.

My vision started getting blurry the next day but I read that that's a natural side effect.  Also felt dizzy but that was also to be expected.  Now this!  Just popped a trusty Benadryl so I should be right as rain.  I'll also call the doctor's office tomorrow & see what they say.  Except I'm concerned that they may suggest that I discontinue.

Funny thing is that the Lupron also blew up my entire face along with bottom lip but at least the latter is all that's swollen... for now.

Internet sleuthing yielded this thread on Fertile Thoughts so I'm feeling reassured for right now.  Looks like I may be able to prophylactically take an antihistimane (like Zyrtec, which I do have & love because it doesn't make me as drowsy as Benadry can) along with progesterone pills or shots to control the allergy... I hope!

I didn't realize I can be so sensitive to these IVF drugs so I hope this is it!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Estrace Stress

I absolutely cannot stand another day on Estrace! It's already been over 3 weeks & I've been feeling low low low.  Yes, I'm back on this IVF ride!  Tonight I finally introduce Prometrium & hopefully I'll finally start my period next week.  Have to contact the doctor to confirm a 10 mg per day dosage -- which sounds like hell but if I must, I must.  Never thought I'd be looking so forward to my cycle starting but anything's better than the mood I'm in right now.  I've been sluggish, unproductive & have noticeably put on a few pounds because I've turned into quite the eater.  What we'll do in the name of a thick uterine lining!  Good times!

I didn't think I'd return to this blog but I've been inspired by so many other women who have been journeying through infertility or single motherhood by choice (many of whom have succeeded in having healthy babies!) that I'm seeking the refuge of this journal as I try again.

Fortunately these distractions have taken my mind off my estrogen:
- Slow Jam the News: President Obama on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
- Finding inspiration in nail polish on The Polish Medic's blog

And wishing fellow SMC Candlelight & Pacifiers luck at CCRM!