IVF #3 – 7 Weeks 4 Days Pregnant

After Michael Jackson died, I swear my iPod played his music more often than it did before. I was pretty sure Apple had changed their random algorithm temporarily. Of course it isn’t true, it just seemed that way because of the circumstances. What does this have to do with anything? You’ll see.

I’m embarrassed to even write parts of this post because I feel like such a worrywart dork. Frankly, I’m a nervous wreck. About everything:

“I have to go to the bathroom. Good. I want to check if there’s any blood. Great! No blood this time!”

“I just woke up on my right side. Crap, I hope the babies are ok.”

“Ouch there’s that cramping again. I know it’s normal for other pregnant ladies, but what about me? I hope the babies are ok.”

“Does that bacon have nitrates?”

“I hope this headache doesn’t get worse, I don’t want to take Tylenol. It depletes glutathione.”

“Is today an egg day? Eggs have choline so I need to eat 2-3 eggs every other day.”

“I don’t have any friends to invite to a baby shower since infertility made me want to isolate myself from the rest of the world for the past 2 years.”

“I better make breastfeeding work because formula is expensive. Times 2.”

“I just sneezed and felt a super sharp pain in my belly. Oh my gosh, it’s not going away!! Oh wait. There it goes. Phew. I hope the babies are ok.”

“Whoops, I forgot I was pregnant and sat down too hard. Crap. I hope the babies are ok.”

“I hope I make it to full term. I don’t want to leave the hospital with babies in the NICU.”

“I really want some Costco Pizza. I hope that’s not bad for the babies.”

“We can’t afford organic fruits and veggies AND organic, hormone free, grass fed meats. I hope pesticides are ok for the babies. What am I saying! Of course they’re not. Maybe I should just skip fruits and veggies.”

“This shower feels good. Hmmm, I wonder if that means it’s too hot for the babies. I better turn it colder. Gosh, when am I going to remember to buy a thermometer for the shower so I can test the water?”

This is just a small sampling of what goes through my head, sometimes multiple times a day.

Yesterday at about 4pm, for the first time since 9dp5dt I had blood when I wiped. It wasn’t bright red blood, just pink. It scared me because before I went to the bathroom I had cramping. And then the cramping seemed to get worse and it lasted for hours. So I called the IVF clinic hoping someone could do an ultrasound right away and tell me if the babies are still ok. They couldn’t see me until this morning. I was very disappointed, but decided to just go home and rest and cry about it.

I kept thinking and saying, “I knew it was too good to be true.” Mr.E tried to comfort me. He wasn’t worried, he said he doesn’t worry about stuff until after it’s confirmed. I have NO idea how to do that.

Anyway, late last night a new set of darker pink blood started after the first round had turned brown. And I noticed I still had the cramping.

This morning I woke up in really good spirits. I was laughing and joking between bouts of morning sickness. Then we all got in the car to go to the ultrasound.

When we were sitting in the waiting room I started thinking about how my iPod played more Michael Jackson after he died. And I started wondering if I imagined the “extra” cramping with the bleeding. The more I thought about it, the more I was pretty sure that was true.

The ultrasound itself went great. Two wonderful heartbeats, 132 and 136 bpm. Baby A was almost triple his/her previous size at the first ultrasound. Baby B was more than double his/her previous size.

I cried tears of relief and joy as soon as he showed each baby and their heartbeat. What a roller coaster of emotions this journey is!

I took a nap when I got home home and when I woke up I started theorizing about all those worries I listed above and everything else that happens to me. I wondered if that Michael Jackson iPod phenomenon fueled so many of my other worries.

Here’s the theory I came up with: once you’re infertile, you’ve beat the odds in the worst way possible. You realize that bad things can happen to you, so you start to see them in your life more often than you used to. In reality, I think it’s just that infertility makes you examine your life under a magnifying glass. Things that wouldn’t have seemed so bad before are now huge and feel insurmountable. The bad things seem to happen more often and success seems further away.

Of course, just like my iPod didn’t play Michael Jackson more often after he died, infertility doesn’t make you more susceptible to bad things happening. It doesn’t mean that any joy you experience is too good to be true.

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IVF #3 – 6 Weeks 6 Days Pregnant

At my ultrasound on Monday the doctor went over my (extensive) list of supplements and my medications. Other than the estradiol and PIO shots, the only other prescription medication I take is Nature-throid. It’s natural desiccated thyroid (NDT). A more well-known brand of NDT is called Armour. I’m a really big believer in people using NDT as much as possible instead of Synthroid / levothyroxine / levoxyl, which I think are synthetic crap.

Anyway, so as I listed each vitamin and drug, he didn’t have much comment until we got to the Nature-throid. He said that on Saturdays and Sundays I should double my dose because the babies would be taking some of it. This is the first time I have ever heard this. In fact, in my own research prior to getting pregnant I thought I read that hCG from the placenta triggers the pituitary to release more TSH, which would naturally increase my own thyroid hormone output. I thought this meant that I would need to decrease my dose, but apparently not. That was an interesting tidbit of information.

I called my naturopath who prescribes my thyroid medications (FYI – don’t ever bother going to an endocrinologist for thyroid problems, they just.dont.get.it.) to get my thyroid bloodwork done again. He also ordered a Complete Metabolic Panel which tests stuff like calcium, sodium, potassium, etc. Would you believe I’m on the cusp of hyponatremia? Hyponatremia is low sodium in the blood. In my case it is probably caused by OHSS. My level is 135 and normal is 137-146.

So, of course I freak out thinking I’m killing the babies because I’m grossed out by Gatorade after drinking it for the last few weeks. I went back to drinking water about a week ago but the bloating and discomfort had come back. I ignored it because it wasn’t too bad I thought. And because the thought of more Gatorade made me want to puke. Anyway so I feel guilty like I’m hurting them because their little placentas are gonna be all dried up because there’s no fluid for them because there’s none in my blood.

Needless to say I’m back on the Gatorade and I had canned soup for lunch and I’ll probably have more for dinner. Anything processed is loaded with sodium.

I also decided that if we do another IVF someday I think we should take our chances and not do a fresh transfer. OHSS is so incredibly uncomfortable. There’s no way to escape it once you have it. It’s not quite unbearable, but close. And I’m not even severe. Probably just mild. Of course I say this now, but I’ll probably change my mind back when the time comes because I know it’s worth it in the long run.

In other interesting developments, about a week ago my hands started falling asleep while sleeping. If I lay on my right, my left hand falls asleep and vice versa. I’ll probably buy some carpal tunnel wrist braces to sleep in.

Seeing the heartbeats really did help me be less anxious. I didn’t think it would but it has. I know I’m doing everything I can to make this work, so if something goes wrong it will be because of something out of my control. I’m taking good thyroid meds, the proper B vitamins for MTHFR, baby aspirin for MTHFR, drinking my Gatorade, eating grass fed and organic meats, drinking organic milk, etc.

I’ll close this post with the Serenity Prayer:

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IVF #3 – 6 Weeks 2 Days Pregnant – 1st Ultrasound

Longest 18 days ever, but we finally made it!

3:56pm: We are sitting in the waiting room for our very first ultrasound!!! I have a few butterflies in my stomach. For the last couple weeks I’ve been hoping for twins, but right now I will feel so grateful if there’s any baby at all.

4:05pm: We’re still in the waiting room. Almost all of our family members live out of state, one lives in Japan, so we wanted to film the ultrasound today. We bought a new memory stick for the camera and a tripod so that Mr.E can just watch and relax and live in the moment during the ultrasound. Eeeee!!! Call our name, please!!!!

5:18pm: We’re on our way home. We saw TWO beautiful heartbeats! Baby A measures 6w1d and sac measures 6w0d. Baby B measures 6w2d and sac measures 6w4d. AAHHHH we’re in heaven!

I asked if we should be worried about Baby A being a little behind, but the doctor said that we have a 3 day leeway on the crown to rump measurements. Baby A is just 1 day behind my actual, so he thinks it’s just fine.

Mr.E is a firefighter and there’s a funny joke: what does the Mexican firefighter name his twin sons? Jose and Hose B 🙂 Mr.E told that joke to the doctor who thought it was hilarious!

IVF #3 – 18dp5dt – Betas #3 and #4

On Saturday morning (16dp5dt) I realized all of a sudden that I wasn’t nauseated anymore. I had been experiencing early morning nausea since about 5dp5dt. True to form, I immediately panicked and decided I must be having a miscarriage because my one and only symptom of pregnancy had disappeared.

So yesterday, on 17dp5dt I went and got my hCG done again, beta #3. It came back at 5,296. That seemed pretty good, but I wanted to make sure it was going up, not coming down so I got it done again today. Beta #4 was 7,716.

Hopefully the next 6 days will go by quickly. Our first ultrasound is one week from today at 6w2d.

IVF #3 – 13dp5dt – Beta #2

I just had my progesterone shot so I’m sitting on the heating pad for the next 20 min or so.

I have been seriously ADD the last couple days. I’m not sure what’s causing it: meds, hCG (yay!), infertility-turned-BFP excitement, or what. I cannot concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes at a time.

Today was Beta #2. Beta #1 was 566. Today was 1,294!! According to this beta doubling time calculator that’s a doubling time of 40.24 hours. The doctor is hoping for 48-72 hours. Hopefully rising too fast isn’t a problem.

Our first ultrasound is in 12 days. Another 2WW. Infertility is a lot of hurry up and wait.

IVF #3 – 11dp5dt – Beta #1

I went for my first beta today. It was supposed to be tomorrow, but with the bleeding on Friday night I asked if I could go a day early.

I love the IHC hospitals in Utah. You can get results from blood work and radiology imaging way earlier. One time I was in the ER with OHSS (after IVF #1), and I was reading my CT scan results on my iPad about 15 min before the ER doctor came to tell me about them.

Anyway, I’ve been hitting “refresh” on my account every 5 min for the last 2.5 hours waiting for the results to show up.

566!!

Now of course what really matters is if on Wednesday my beta #2 is double that.

Hurry, Wednesday, hurry and get here!

I found this cool set of charts that show betas from thousands of women. 566 is just above the median hCG for twin pregnancies on 16dpo, but well below the highest hCG for singleton pregnancies on 16dpo.

After analyzing that, I thought, “Who cares! There’s a baby in there! Yay!”

UPDATE: 3:20pmThe nurse just called to tell us the results. She said that tomorrow they would have hope to see the hCG over 100 (!!) and since mine is so high to be prepared to possibly see more than one heartbeat. Which of course would be a dream come true!

IVF #3 – 9dp5dt

Today and yesterday I woke up wondering if I’m still pregnant. I did some HPTs (of course) to confirm the line was still there and, hopefully, getting darker. So far so good. I wish Tuesday would get here already so I can do my first beta.

The strange cramping that I had on day 6 is gone. I feel like a regular gal again. Except that I have massive bloating.

The bloating started around 7dp5dt I think. I ate popcorn that day and assumed that’s why I was bloated. But then I remembered today that a BFP can trigger OHSS. So as of this afternoon, I’m switching from water to Gatorade and eating a lot more protein. And I’m going to sleep on the recliner for a few nights instead of laying flat.

Like an idiot I left my progesterone in the car for over an hour and it got hot. I’m on my way to the specialty pharmacy now to see if they’ll let me buy a new bottle. If I use this bottle and I have a miscarriage I’ll never forgive myself.

IVF #3 – 7dp5dt

I have a secret this morning. I bet you can guess what it is.

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Do you see it? Here’s my 7 days of POAS since transfer:

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The ironic thing is that I spent all that money on the FRERs and I saw it first on the Wondfos 🙂

I’d like to say I’m being cautiously optimistic, but I’m not. I’m just plain excited! A tiny part of my brain keeps telling me to not get too excited, but I can’t help it! AAAAHHHH!!

I’m 3 weeks 5 days pregnant.

YAY!

IVF #3 – 6dp5dt

Until today I would have said I don’t really have any symptoms from the progesterone in oil shots. I don’t even have any pain or redness at the injection sites. I’ve had weird twinges of pain the last few days that could be from my uterus or from my bowels. It’s hard to tell which one even right now, except today they feel a little more like period cramps than before. And they’re incessant.

My POAS every day experiment is still going. I let myself get paranoid yesterday that my Wondfos might not be working so I broke down and bought some FRER tests. It was negative.

Now I’m mad that I did that because I spent $28 on 5 FRER tests and then last night I found the cutest maternity shirt at the Gap that’s $20 + shipping. If I wasn’t such a paranoid freak I could have gotten the shirt!!

Well, back to work now. It sure is difficult to concentrate on anything that’s not fertility related.