The Not-So-Sexy Infertility Adventures of a Girl in the Big Apple

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beta #2...

...was 1,435.  More than doubled, I'm super happy!

I want to thank everyone for your reassuring comments yesterday.  I am feeling oodles better about the twins thing.  Yes, there are more risks and the work is daunting.  But the thought of having siblings who can play and grow up together is lovely.  And the thought of never having to do IVF again is absolutely amazing!  I'm sure there will be some rocky days ahead but for now I'm going to concentrate on the positives.

I just can't believe I'm really's so surreal, and I honestly forget about it sometimes because right now I feel so normal.  No cramps, no nothing really, except for bigger boobs and occasional heartburn.  But I guess I really am

Now I'm in the next 2WW, and this one is going to be just as hard as the last one I think.  It seems like ages from now, I just don't know how I'm going to get through it.  One good thing is that I managed to get my local RE to do my 6 week ultrasound, so I don't have to go to the one I don't like.  I'm now in the process of trying to figure out which OB I want, which in NY is no easy thing.  As a couple people have warned me (thanks guys!), there's heavy competition here for the good ones.  And unfortunately the high-risk OBs who I think I want to go to don't take any appointments until after you've been released from the IVF clinic.  And I also won't really know for sure that I'm high risk until at least that first u/s appointment.  Sigh, I guess I'll just have to figure it out as I go...

The important thing is that as of today I am pregnant, and who would've ever thunk that could happen?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

4w1d - Kinda Freaking Out Over Here...

First off, I want to thank all of you again for the amazing support - what would I do without you ladies?  I was really touched to hear both from the amazing women I've been following and also first-time commenters.  Thank you all.

Since yesterday I have to admit I've been freaking out a bit about this twin thing.  I'm kind of ashamed about it, because I should be just overjoyed to be pregnant at all (and I am, I am!).  But I am also scared, anxious, and filled with regret about not doing eSET.  I'm not proud of it, but it's true.

Hubby was amazing last night and talked me off the ledge more than once.  Thank goodness he is a natural optimist, and always looks on the bright side of life.  He's going to need all of that optimism to get his crazy wife through this!

And yes, I know that there is still a possibility that this is a singleton after all.  But I checked out the Betabase and out of the 2,900 singleton betas recorded there guess how many were as high or higher than mine?  Less than 31.  Meaning less than 1%.  So it is very, very, VERY likely that I have twins cooking, and I need to just get my head around that fact.  If I can.

I also wanted to share something that I find kind of cool with you guys.  I don't know about you, but going through IVF and all of it's uncertainties has made me unusually superstitious.  I start looking for signs, grasping at coincidences, in the hopes that they mean something about my cycle.  I know rationally that this is all ridiculous, but infertility will make even the most hardened skeptic start reaching for voodoo dolls and spells!

For whatever weird reason, the thing I latched onto was our orchids.  My husband and I love orchids, and always have one or two around the house.  During my first IVF, I started this kind of game where I would think that if my orchid blossoms survived/thrived during the procedure, that it would be successful.  I know, weird right?  Unfortunately, the blossoms started to die off as soon as stims started, and I was left with only one sad looking one by the end.  You all know that my first cycle was a disaster and ended up not even going to transfer.

The next cycle, even though I tried not to, I ended up doing the same thing but this time with a bouquet of flowers (even crazier!).  And nearly the same thing happened - the blossoms started to fade and my cycle ended in a BFN.

This cycle, despite my best efforts, I started following the growth of the orchid we had bought to replace the first one.  I didn't follow it so much during the stims process (as I as out in CO) but once I got back and was waiting for our CCS results I started noticing it more.  This orchid has been an unusually healthy one, and lasted much longer than any I've ever had.  I kept waiting for it to fade, but it just kept on thriving.  Then, one day, not long after I got my CCS results of 2 normals, I noticed that the orchid had started to bud.  And about a week later I realized that there were not just one, but 2 buds that had formed!  This seemed like such a potent symbol for my 2 embryos that I couldn't help but imbue them with that significance.  I took a couple pictures as they started to grow, to document this in case my cycle actually turned out to be positive.
Here is the orchid plant - you can see the buds on the right stem.
Here's another picture later on - you can see both buds getting bigger.

During the 2WW, I started to fret over these buds with the same intensity that I was fretting over the embryos.  I would check on them 5 times a day, and if it seemed like they weren't growing I would get nervous.  I watered the plant carefully and religiously, and wouldn't let Hubby do anything to harm it.
The buds just kept growing and growing, and then, on the morning of beta, here is what I woke up to!
It bloomed!
A view from head on - you can see that bud #2 isn't far behind!

This story is absolutely true - it literally didn't bloom until the morning of beta.  Crazy coincidence, eh?
It makes me wonder about that second bud being behind the first...could that mean something too?  Although it is growing nicely and will be blooming in about a week I think...

Lest you think me totally loony I do realize that this is purely coincidence and not some mystical sign.  But sometimes it is these things that get us through a difficult time.  And I now have a great attachment to this little plant for helping me do that.

Beta #2 is tomorrow.  I suppose I should be glad that the shock of the twins thing kept me from worrying about it, or any other miscarriage fears.  I guess those will be coming before the ultrasound, gulp!  I'll post again tomorrow when I get my beta.  Never a dull moment!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Beta Results

Holy crap, first beta is 516!!!

My nurse first told me that she had great news for me, and that I was pregnant.  Then she said "Are you ready to be a mother to twins?"  O.M.G.   To tell you the truth, I don't know if I am!  I am of course thrilled to be pregnant, and would far prefer this outcome to not being pregnant, but...whoa.

If you recall I had the conversation with Dr. S about transferring only one but he was so adamant about transferring two that I caved.  Why didn't I listen to my gut?

Sorry guys, I don't mean to sound less than overjoyed, it's just that my head is spinning!  To go from not being able to get pregnant forever to twins in one fell swoop kinda blows your mind.  I guess it's also still possible that we may end up with one - we won't know for sure until the first u/s on March 14th.

Thanks to all of you ladies for the support, and for everyone who came back to me with advice on OB's. I think I'm going to try to get an appointment at an experienced MFM practice, where I may ultimately want to deliver.  And and OB who has experience with multiples!!

OMG, I just got a dizzy spell writing that...I'm going to go lie down and try to process this news!

OB Question For You Ladies

I'm back from getting blood drawn and waiting for my nurse to call with my beta.  In the mean time, my mind is (of course) already moving ahead to that first u/s.  So I have a question for you ladies about where it is best to do my early pregnancy monitoring.

My current OBGYN is located in a small, downtown office right by my apartment.  It's a new relationship - I only went there to get my annual / PAP when I was doing my ODWU at C.CRM.  I have to say I don't love my OBGYN - she's okay, but she's a little bit bitchy and has been kind of nosy about my IVF (asking me how much it cost, questioning why I went out of state, etc.)  But she would be very easy to set up appointments with and convenient to get to, and the office generally seems like a good practice.  However, I would never ultimately deliver there, because I want to go somewhere that has a sophisticated MFM practice, just in case (heaven forbid) anything should go wrong.

I could also try to find an OB at a hospital where I might ultimately want to deliver, so I can develop that relationship early.  But the big hospitals are all far uptown and will likely be harder to get an initial appointment at.  Also, since C.CRM will be continuing to provide primary care for the next however many weeks, I wonder if I should wait to go there once (if?) I "graduate" from their care.

Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations?  I have never gotten this far (obviously!) so just don't know what the best option would be.  Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

I will be posting that beta number later today as soon as I get it - fingers crossed...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

10dp3dt - Day Before Beta and Gratitude

Ladies, beta day is finally here - I'll be going to the lab in the morning, and will hopefully hear back from C.CRM not too late.  I'm excited and nervous.  But most importantly, I'm grateful.  Grateful to have gotten this far in the process.  Grateful for my fabulous, funny husband.  And SO grateful to all of you wonderful, wonderful ladies who have given me so much support through this.  Your excitement and happiness has made every moment sweeter for me.  So thank you *all* from the bottom of my heart.  For real.

No day would be complete without the obligatory pregnancy test.  Today, in addition to using my last internet cheapie (which came in nice and dark), I pulled out a leftover FRER.  Without further ado, here it is:
Ain't it purty?  I promise that's the last of these I'll post.  Even I know when enough is enough!  But that's such a textbook looking line I just had to post it...

Feeling good today.  Heartburn is under control.  I figured out that the best way to deal with it is not to let my stomach get empty.  I had to get up twice in the middle of the night last night and eat something and that did the trick.  Of course, that means that I will be an absolute whale in about 2 weeks if this doesn't stop!  Oh well...

Only major symptom right now is BOOB.  They are getting bigger and more tender by the minute.  I keep grabbing them and holding them up, because I'm worried they will be down at my belly button by the time this is all over!

I hope everyone is having a great Oscars night.  I'm glad to have something to distract me before tomorrow.  Cross your fingers for me for a great beta!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

9dp3dt - Getting Darker...

Just call me Miss Pee On A Stick.  I tested again this morning at 9am with FMU (per Single Mom To Be's suggestion).  Line came in nicely, just a tiny bit darker than yesterday's.  But of course yesterday's was done at 3:30pm so it hadn't been a full 24 hours.  So I tested again at 3:30pm today and got an even darker line - don't even have to squint to see it now!

Here's a pic (most recent test at the top):

Hubs is so excited.  He didn't come home until 9pm last night, which made me awfully impatient.  But it was worth it to see the look on his face!  He is trying not to get overly excited, and we agreed that as much as possible we will take this a day at a time.  That means today is a great day, today we are happy. Very happy.

My Fertility Journey, I will definitely get one of those digital tests so I can see the words "Pregnant"!  I am waiting until just before beta though because I don't think those tests are as sensitive as the ones I have been using.  The tests above are 10 miu, most others are 25 - 50 miu.

Otherwise, I'm feeling pretty good.  Boobs are a bit sore, and occasionally I feel a tight sensation in my uterus, but other than the horrible heartburn I feel pretty normal.  I did have one crazy hot flash in the middle of the night last night - full on sweat, had to throw the covers off and pant for a few minutes to cool off!

I'm off now to buy some Mylanta for my poor little esophagus.  2 days and counting until beta!...

Friday, February 24, 2012

O. M. G.

Ladies, it's 8dp3dt, and I think I might actually be a little bit pregnant!  Let me tell you the story:

Yesterday I was having one of those days where I just couldn't sit still.  I tried everything to distract myself (a walk, TV, books, etc.) but just couldn't.  I had planned to try to wait until at least today to test (which admittedly was still very early) but I realized when looking through my stash that I had 5 internet cheapie tests left so I figured I'd start using them once-a-day, 5 days before beta and just finish them off.

I told myself that 7dp3dt was way too early to worry if I got a negative, so at around 4pm yesterday I bit the bullet and peed.  At first I saw nothing, and just figured that it was (sigh) another negative.  But after a few minutes I thought I saw the merest ghost of a line.  After another few minutes I could definitely see the faintest of faint lines.  It could only be seen close up, in strong light, but believe me, after examining a zillion tests for faint lines and never seeing even a *hint* of one in over 2 years, this seemed really promising.

I was of course elated, and had to go on a long walk just to process the event.  I told myself that I wouldn't tell anyone until I did another test today, just in case this was a fluke.  Not even my husband.  Not even you guys.  

I spent most of the day today in various states of holding my pee.  I decided I would test around 2pm, but I screwed up and accidentally started peeing at 12:30pm without thinking about it, so then I had to wait until 3:30pm to make sure my pee was concentrated enough.  But it was worth it though, because after peeing I saw this (the one on top is from today):

I don't know if you guys can see it in the picture, but there's definitely a faint line there, and it's a wee bit darker than the one below it from yesterday.  Considering it's only 8dp3dt this seems really encouraging!!

I wanted you ladies to be the first to know.  And I cannot wait to tell hubby when he gets home tonight!  I know there's a long way to go, and this could all go away at any time.  But after more than 2 years of seeing stark white, it is just amazing to even get this far...there are no words.

The only bummer is that since yesterday's test I've developed one new, horrible "symptom," which is massive heartburn.  I didn't realize that this was a common side effect of elevated progesterone, which is why so many women get it in pregnancy.  The progesterone acts as a muscle relaxant, which (among other things) relaxes the flap that separates the esophagus from stomach - hence, your esophagus gets exposed to stomach acid, and OW!  This is also one of the reasons why we get constipation with progesterone - the muscles that help push the stuff through also get relaxed.  I've never had heartburn before, so I was totally unprepared for it.  It kept me up all night last night, and I've been feeling it all day today.  C.CRM has only approved me to use Tums and Mylanta, which I'm only having minor success with.  Ugh.

But that's so insignificant compared to the happiness I'm feeling right now.  You can bet I'll be peeing every day until beta to hopefully see this line get darker.  And I'll keep y'all posted!  I had a feeling February was going to be a good month for all of us cycling, and I can't wait until everyone gets their turn!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Ladies, I just want to thank you for talking me off the ledge yesterday.  Yesterday was a BAD day in terms of hormones.  I spent most of the day in tears for no reason.  Ugh.  Luckily, all of your wise and measured words helped enormously, as did Hubby coming home a little early to take care of me.  Love that guy.

Thankfully I woke up this morning feeling normal - and for once had enough energy to get some stuff done.  The most significant thing was a consultation with a donor egg agency that I'm interested in working with.  It was a helpful conversation, and answered some of the questions I had about the process.  Unfortunately they don't have any donors that look promising to me right now.

I hope very much that I don't end up needing this Plan B.  But taking a cue from Mo at Life & Love in the Petri Dish, I am going to pursue multiple options simultaneously, just in case.

"Symptoms" (or lack thereof) today:
1) Insomnia - Totally gone.  Slept like a baby last night.
2) Appetite - Returned to normal (eating like a pig).
3) Cramps - Non-existent!
4) Breast Tenderness - The only thing that made itself felt today.  Some swelling and tenderness today (thanks progesterone!)

No POAS yet, staying strong for now.  5 days to beta and counting...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Ladies, thank you for all of the encouraging words yesterday.  I would be lying if I said that I wasn't still concerned about the lack of cramping, but rationally I know it's silly to think it means anything one way or another.

It's 5dp3dt, and I'm feeling fairly crummy.  Not physically so much as emotionally.  It's purely hormone related.  I was already feeling quite emotional going into the FET with the estrogen patches & Lupron.  Now after being on 4 patches every other day for a while I've reached a whole new level of hormonal craziness.  I literally feel like I could cry every second.  I tear up at nothing 5 times a day.  And I am not a crier, so this is totally bizarre behavior for me!

I am thinking of trying to have a big cry every morning before I start my day like the Holly Hunter character in "Broadcast News" (have you ever seen that movie? - it's utterly fantastic.)  I think if I could do that it would tide me over until at least the for thought.

A couple of you have asked me about my beta date and if I plan to POAS.  Beta is Monday, Feb 27th - a week from now.  I will most definitely POAS at some point because I want to be prepared.  But I'd like to wait as long as possible so I don't drive myself too crazy.  Having said that, I make no promises given my mental/emotional state - I could break down at any time!

But oddly, despite feeling incredibly emotional I don't feel anxious.  I don't have that pace-around-the-room-freaking-out kind of energy that I've had in the past.  I just feel tired and teary and sort of out-of-it.

Just for kicks, here's my daily log of "symptoms":
1) Insomnia - Better now that I am off Medrol.  Am sleeping for long chunks but still getting up to pee all the time.
2) Appetite changes - This is a new one.  Last couple of days I've found myself not really wanting to eat much during the day, but then waking up in the middle of the night with serious hunger pangs.  Last night I had to get up twice to eat something before I could go back to sleep.
3) Cramping - Much less now (as I've said) but still feeling some light, intermittent cramping, particularly at night.
4) Breast tenderness - Very slight, but still there.

Thanks to everyone for their continued support, this is going to be a bloody long week.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Immediately after I posted yesterday I noticed that my cramps started dissipating.   They were intermittent the rest of the day and night, and this morning I am feeling them only once in a while and much less strongly.  I am trying not to freak out about this, but I'm not going to lie - I'm worried, really worried.  This is very typical of what has happened to me in the past.  Strong cramps for the first few days, then they kind of go away, then they come back but the second set turn out to be just period cramps.

I know there's nothing I can do about it, and I should just try to stay positive.  But all of the sudden it's become very hard to do that.  Please, oh please, let this work.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Back Home - 3dp3dt

Got back from Denver yesterday afternoon, and it's good to be home.  We had a little hiccup on the way back - got stuck in a huge line at the airport and had to rush to the gate.  My husband's bag didn't make the flight, so we got woken up at 1:30am this morning by the United rep outside our door who delivered it to us.

Other than that, the trip was very smooth.  Our embryos thawed "beautifully" and had minimal fragmentation (one had <10%, the other had 10 - 15%).  Transfer was painless and easy.  I even managed to get my bladder to the right amount of fullness, although I did have to use the bedpan afterwards - that was kinda weird.

Bedrest at Teatro was pleasant, although I got pretty stir crazy by the end of the second day.  We watched a Louis C.K. DVD for laughs (if you haven't seen this guy, you need to - he is *hilarious*), and then MoneyBall, which I quite enjoyed.  The only thing that worried me a bit is that I had a weird reaction to something that started the day before transfer.  My cheeks got very pink and tender, like I had a bad sunburn.  It subsided a fair amount by the next day, but it hasn't completely gone away.  I wrote to my nurse about it and she said to just watch it and make sure it doesn't get worse.

So how I am I feeling now?  As I told you, I don't put much stock in pregnancy "symptoms" because I've had so many in the past and been wrong.  But it's impossible not to notice every twinge and cramp when you're in the 2WW, so if only for the sake of documentation I'm going write about it.

By far the most noticeable "symptom" I'm having is cramping.  It's quite intense at times, particularly at night.  I have had this most months when we were TTC'ing naturally, and I have never had it when we haven't been TTC'ing.  So I do think the cramping is indicative of something going on reproductively, but the question is what - rejection of bad embryos? uterine preparation for implantation?  failed implantation attempts?  Impossible to tell.

I will say that this cramping feels slightly different than any I've had before.  In the past I've felt an all-over ache, similar to period cramps but lower down - almost right where the pubic bone is.  The cramping often lasted throughout most of the 2WW.  However, all of those cycles were negative.  Not even a chemical, just BFN.

The cramping this time feels higher up, towards the top of the uterus.  It is also more localized and sharp, as opposed to an all-over ache.  However, just this morning I have started to feel more of that familiar lower down ache as well.  So who the heck knows what is going on?

Other than that, I have the usual list of 2WW feelings:
- Sore-ish breasts and nipples (progesterone & estrogen related, no doubt)
- Insomnia (due I think to Medrol and nighttime cramps)
- Fatigue (due to not sleeping enough!)
- Frequent urination

I'm going to be taking it easy today, although I will try to leave the apt and take a short walk to get some fresh air.  I am reading all of your blogs like crazy, and am SO happy for Mo of Life & Love in the Petri Dish.  I'm hoping hers is the first BFP of many this month!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Just wanted to write a very quick post to say all is well, and I am here in the hotel room with my feet up and 2 little ones inside me.  Flight was on time, embryos thawed nicely, and Dr. S himself did my transfer.  I will have much more to write when I get back, but just wanted to thank everyone so much for the well-wishes.  I think it was your collective prayers that got me through this so smoothly!  More to come soon...

Monday, February 13, 2012

It's A Go!

I just got word from my nurse that I am cleared to go for the FET - my lining is at 14m and estradiol is 500 (they want to see over 300).  Can't believe I'll be leaving on Wednesday for Denver - FINALLY.

I attended a memorial service yesterday for a former work colleague of mine who passed away from a rare form of cancer.  It is really a tragedy - she was young (only in her 20s), intelligent, beautiful, and talented - the whole package.  I didn't know her super well (although I always liked her) but a friend of mine who was very close to her asked me to attend to support her, as she had been asked by the family to give a tribute.  The service was amazing, and I found myself crying through the whole thing.   While there would have been some tears regardless, I'm sure the high levels of estrogen didn't help with controlling my emotions.  I literally started tearing up when I walked into the room...could *feel* the hormones working.

Anyhow, attending this beautiful service was a reminder of how lucky I am just to be alive and healthy (aside from IF, of course).  I want to remember this during the FET to keep it in perspective as much as possible.  It won't be easy, but I am going to try - that's all we can do, right?

One thing I am also determined to do is not to put any stock in my 2WW symptoms.  I have had every pregnancy symptom in the book on my natural, IUI and IVF cycles and have always been wrong.  Also, the estrogen is already giving me cramps, a very heavy/full feeling uterus, and sore nipples.  If I didn't know better, I'd think I was pregnant already!  I'm sure I won't be able to stop myself from noticing symptoms, but I will know better than to think they mean anything.

I am praying that our flights leave on time and we don't have any weather issues.  I am praying that our embryos thaw perfectly and transfer goes smoothly.  And most of all, I am praying that this works.  Please, oh please, let this work...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two Weeks

FET is now 2 weeks away, and I am thankful that time is passing.  I've been doing a reasonable job of not obsessing too much, although it's never far from my mind.  Yoga has been helping - I've been trying to do it as much as possible.  The DVDs are genius - I wish I'd discovered them long ago!

Yesterday I picked up a girlfriend of mine from the hospital.  She was getting a uterine polyp removed in anticipation of doing IVF for the first time.  She is in her early 40s and single, and has decided that she wants a child.  It's nice to have someone I know who is also going through this process but it's also difficult.  I've been trying to be as mum as possible about our cycles, as I find it's easier to deal with that way.  But with her, I feel kind of bad doing that since she's been so open with me.  I ended up telling her some half-truths, which made me feel a little guilty, but I just know it's better that way.

Other than that, not much to report.  I'm feeling pretty good, but have noticed that occasionally I get a little weepy and emotional.  I chalk that up to the Lupron, and perhaps the Estrogen.  But all and all, the FET is much easier than a full IVF cycle.

There are a number of you (Jen, Mo, Libby) who are off to C.CRM soon.  I wish you all the best of luck, and hope you'll keep us posted.  Really hoping this will be a month of celebration for all of us...