Second Blog -- Please Join Me!

I've decided to start a second blog to focus on our pregnancy journey.  This new blog is the one I will be sharing with family and IRL friends.  I hope you will join me there, but completely understand if you don't.  The address is:  http://twinklelittlestar2013.blogspot.com/  Thanks to awesome Suzy for designing the blog for me! 

I will still be blogging on this blog too -- as the infertility journey does not end with that second line. (every time I feel cocky and think it does, I get slapped in the face shortly there after).  I'm learning this more and more everyday.  I will also be following all of you still from this site, as JJ.  

I hope everyone has an amazing and relaxing holiday with family and friends!  


Anyone Else? Updated

Sorry for this TMI...but has anyone else out there had a yeast infection during earlier pregnancy?  I was on an antibiotic last week for a cold, and so I'm pretty confident that is what this is.  I generally don't like the thought of taking meds, and especially am not a big fan during pregnancy (it took a week of being miserable, getting better and then worse, and my husband's urging to finally go on antibiotics).

I'm looking for some natural relief or things that have worked for others, but are safe during pregnancy.  So far I have done the apple cider vinegar bath thing (and even drank some diluted in water) and have gotten some relief (probably need to do for a few more days).  But I am open to other suggestions.


I gave in and called my doctor's office this morning and they suggested I use Monistat, which I will do, but I am also going to continue to do the apple cider vinegar baths and probiotics and hope that I don't have to do a full 7 days of the Monistat.  She assured me that there is no potential harm to the baby, so that makes me feel better.  I still hate the thought of taking the meds, but am pretty miserable with itching, so will give it a whirl.  I did ask about bacterial vaginosis, as I've had that within the last year, but she said my symptoms really sound yeast related.  I would have liked to go in for a test just to make sure, but at the same time, don't want to go in if not necessary.  I feel like I am the hypochondriac patient.  At least I have my screening ultrasound on Thursday, so if things aren't better by then, I can get it checked out in person.  


Advanced Maternal Age...and Other Random Thoughts

I had my first OB appointment today, and I was officially told I was of "advanced maternal age".  I knew it was coming, of course, being 37 and all, but it still stung a little.  Because of my "advanced maternal age" they had to offer me an amniocentesis or CVS (I think), which I politely declined.  There were several times I also heard "since you are over 35"...

The appointment went really well overall. I got to pee in a cup, have my breasts checked, have a pelvic exam and screening for a couple of STDs, answer a bazillion questions and heard what my schedule of appointments will be like for the next 6 months.  Oh, and I got to meet with one of their financial people to talk about costs and payments.  I was also presented with a reusable bag (seriously nice -- with a zipper) full of info from the two major hospitals in town (though they took the info on one of them out -- since I work at one of the hospitals, I will be delivering there), a BabiesRUs catalog, a list of OTC drugs I can take and much more.  To say the appointment was overwhelming would be an understatement.

I've lost 3 pounds since I was there a couple of weeks ago (I was afraid I had a yeast infection -- I didn't), even though I feel like I eat ALL.THE.TIME!  Best part -- the Doppler and hearing baby's heart beating at a lovely 166 bpm.  Next week we have our first trimester screening ultrasound and bloodwork and then won't have another ultrasound for about 8 weeks.  I've really gotten spoiled with the multiple ultrasounds from the REs office.

Other random things going on:

  • I have a lovely cold/cough thing going on.  I finally gave in and went to the walk-in clinic yesterday when I could barely get out of bed and was coughing so hard I was gagging.  I'm on antibiotics and the mend now. I'm not good at being sick.  I'm not good at being patient.  It's been a long week (just ask my husband)
  • Despite said cold, my smell sensor is working overtime.  I'm afraid of what it will be like when I can breathe again.  Tonight my husband made himself something for dinner and I seriously considered leaving the room.  I thought I was getting over the nausea thing, but tonight it came back with a vengeance.  I actually told my husband I wanted to puke just to feel better. 
  • We joke that we haven't told our cat yet that he is going to be a "big brother".  This weekend we had friends over and I was cuddled up on the couch with their 5 week old son on my chest/tummy.  The cat sat on the coffee table and GLARED at me, and then climbed on the back of the couch -- something he doesn't normally do -- and laid there glaring at me.  This could be interesting.  
  • This past week marked the 6 year mark of when I took my last birth control pill.  Six years on this journey has changed who I am today.  Infertility will ALWAYS be a part of me in both good and bad ways.  I think what I miss the most is my innocence with this pregnancy.  I worry about every little thing, and rejoice in every milestone passed (I actually wondered this past week -- and yes, I googled it -- if I could kill my baby by coughing so much).  Seriously -- some days I think I should be put in a padded room.  
On that note, I'm calling it a night.  


11 weeks

How far along?: 11 weeks

Size of Baby: 1/2 inches long -- about the size of a fig.

Baby Development: 
Your baby is now almost fully formed. Her hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under her gums, and some of her bones are beginning to harden.

She's already busy kicking and stretching, and her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. You won't feel your baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will you notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that her diaphragm is forming.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: My starting weight was between 130 and 135 fully clothed.  I haven't stepped on a scale this week, but my pants are getting tighter and tighter earlier in the day.  (belly bump pictures to start next week)

Gender: ??? 

Movement: Not for awhile

Stretchmarks: Not for awhile

Maternity Clothes: Not yet, but probably close.

Sleep:  Inconsistent.  Still going to bed early and waking up early.

What I miss:  Nothing so far

Cravings: Lots of really healthy things like fruity candy (Twizzlers, Skittles, gummy bears, Starbursts), chips and dip & fried things.  In addition, this week I've been craving burgers from Culvers and suddenly orange juice.  Still craving V8 and cottage cheese.
Aversions: Eggs, chicken, apples make me sick (but applesauce is fine).

Symptoms:  Hungry all the time, not sure who my chest belongs to, exhausted, smells are making me sick, and the nausea is less all the time and just comes in spurts now.  

Best Moment this Week: one more week in the books, feeling my pants get tighter, and coming to a serious realization that there is a baby actually growing inside of me (how cool is that?) 

Looking forward to: First OB appointment and telling more people our good news.  Saying goodbye to this cold.

Random Updates: I've had a crummy cold this week -- lots of coughing and sniffling, along with nearly losing my voice.  That's not been so much fun and has added to my exhaustion.  Strangely enough, my sense of smell has been stronger than ever, which frightens me with what it will be like once I can actually breathe.


10 weeks!

How far along?: 10 weeks 2 days

Size of Baby: a peanut or small strawberry (a little over an inch long and less than 1/4 of an ounce)

Baby Development: your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.
He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.
Your baby's limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: My starting weight was between 130 and 135 fully clothed.  I am staying within that range, though the pants get much tighter by the end of the day.

Gender: ??? (and we aren't finding out)

Movement: Not for awhile
Stretchmarks: Not for awhile

Maternity Clothes: Not yet, though I just did some consignment shopping and online shopping.  Guessing maternity pants are in my future in the next couple of weeks. I've worn a few shirts/sweaters this week that I determined I shouldn't wear again until after the info is public.

Sleep:  Inconsistent.  Go to bed early and generally wake up in the middle of the night for an hour or two before going back to sleep.  Slept 11 hours on Thanksgiving night at my in-laws -- it was amazing!  Naps are pretty amazing too.

What I miss:  Nothing so far

Cravings: Lots of really healthy things like fruity candy (Twizzlers, Skittles, gummy bears, Starbursts), chips and dip, Kraft mac and cheese & fried things.  But also V8, milk, cottage cheese and carrots.  I feel like I have a traveling vending machine hidden in my purse for my constant hunger.
Aversions: Eggs (hard boiled are okay but otherwise no thank you), chicken is hit or miss, peanut butter and I have a love/hate relationship, apples make me sick.
Symptoms:  Hungry and nauseous all the time (though nausea is getting better), not sure who my chest belongs to, exhausted and my emotions have come out to play finally.
Best Moment this Week: Making it to double digits week-wise.  Telling my mother- and father-in-law about the pregnancy.  

Looking forward to: First OB appointment and telling more people our good news.  Transitioning to a new (ish) wardrobe.

Random Updates: I'm so thankful to have not thrown up yet (knock on wood), but will gladly take any symptom that comes my way as it means things are progressing.  The last 2 days I have had a sensation of lots of stretching in my abdomen.  I love it!


Emotional Days Part Two

I'm still here.  Baby and I are both doing well.  Baby is growing, growing, growing and we got to see his heartbeat again on Thursday at 8 weeks 6 days.  It was beating away at 168 and a sound I will never grow tired of hearing.  In fact, I videotaped it as my husband wasn't able to be there, so I have it on my phone and listen to it at least once a day.  (funny story -- I asked the nurse at the RE's office if I could videotape when she turned the heartbeat on and she said yes, but that they don't leave it on the heartbeat sound very long because it drains the energy.  I thought "really -- cause I haven't paid you thousands of dollars over the last several years to help with your energy bill?")  Anyway, I have graduated onto my OB, who I will see the first week of December.

My absence from blogging has partially been because I am exhausted.  Like in bed at 8:30 every night exhausted.  Hubby thinks I may be the most boring person on earth and he is likely right!  Unfortunately, early bed time equals early waking time when I usually move to the couch for a little reading and then hopefully a bit more sleep.  I'm generally nauseous and hungry at the same time -- so very hungry.  No puking yet which I am thankful for, but will gladly take.

The other reason for my absence is that my grandmother, my last remaining grandparent and a woman I adored, recently died.  She had been in the hospital and on the day of my first ultrasound, when I called my parents to tell them the good news, found out that the decision had been made to move her to hospice (which I am very grateful for).  I'm not going to go into details, but this has been such an emotional 3 weeks -- both happy and sad and full of memories.  I will say she stayed true to herself and stubborn to the very end, and I am so grateful for the few moments I was able to spend with just her, when I was able to tell her I was pregnant.  By then she was not conscious, but in my heart, I believe she understood.

My grandma had 4 children, 10 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 15 great great grandchildren.  My dad, who wrote the obituary, wanted to say she had 14 great grandchildren...how sweet is that.  The church was half filled with just family who traveled in from all over the US.  May we all be so blessed and lucky!

I am planning to get back to blogging more frequently now...and am excited to reveal my new pregnancy blog to you sometime in the next couple of weeks.  Sending love to all of you, wherever you are in your journey!


Emotional Day

This afternoon hubby and I heard the most amazing sound in the world -- the sound of our baby's heart beating very strongly -- and I cried tears of joy!  We go back in two weeks and then will "graduate" to my OB/GYN.  Tomorrow I will be 7 weeks and Saturday I will be one day more pregnant than I have ever been.


Ultrasound Eve

Tomorrow is the day...our first ultrasound. I will be 6w6d. To say I'm freaked out is a bit of an understatement.  This two week wait has been brutal.  I just want to see a heartbeat and know everything is okay.  

This is where we found out we lost our first pregnancy. We never got to hear that lovely sound.  

I talked about this with my therapist yesterday, and we discussed how this pregnancy is already so different from last time.  Last time I spotted nearly non-stop.  This time I've been blessed with no spotting (knock on wood).  Last pregnancy my numbers were low.  This pregnancy they are very high.  Last pregnancy I just knew something was wrong.  This pregnancy really feels like we are going to have a baby in June.  For real.  

But this does not dull the fact that tomorrow I will walk into the same ultrasound room where two years ago at exactly 7 weeks we cried tears of sadness over our impending loss.  It's going to be hard and emotional.  But I truly believe that tomorrow we will cry tears of joy over whats to come.  My therapist told me I need to acknowledge the difficult thoughts and emotions, but be in the moment.  I'm going to try my hardest.  

I have no doubt that things are cooking down there.  So far for symptoms:

  • Unbelievably sore and large breasts with big blue veins popping out.  Sometimes I look down and am shocked thinking "who's boobs are these"?  As someone who has never been well endowed, I'm enjoying the extra oomph!  
  • Exhausted....as in I want to take a nap at my desk most days.  I'm generally in bed shortly after my 9 p.m. PIO shot, but my body seems to think I need to be wide awake again at 4, after peeing several times during the night.
  • Bloating.  By the end of the day my pants feel tight.  One of my coworkers asked me yesterday if I was losing weight.  Ummmm, nope -- did you notice the tight pants?  Thank goodness for fall/winter clothing that I can camouflage my belly with.
  • Nausea.  I'll take nausea when I wake up for $200 Alec.  Oh wait, morning sickness isn't just in the morning?  I haven't thrown up yet, but have been awfully close and have definitely wished I had so I would feel better.  I find I can't eat a lot at a time and some foods are just off limits.  
While these symptoms are annoying at times, I would not change them for anything because they help me know that something is happening down there, in my tummy.  I haven't had some of the usual early symptoms like peeing all the time & constipation (thanks to my daily probiotic).  

I'm working with the fabulous Suzy from Not a Fertile Myrtle to set up a new blog to keep all of my pregnancy info and share it with family and friends.  More details on that to come.  If anyone has a great idea for a new pregnancy blog name, I'm open to ideas.  My creativity is lacking these days!

Thank you ladies for all of your congratulations and words of encouragement!



Thanks to Amanda for nominating me for the Liebster Award.  If you haven't already, go visit her blog and wish her lots of luck as she begins stims for IVF#2.  

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers, and nominated by fellow bloggers. Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. Better yet, to me it means “happy.”

So what do I do? Basically, I have a series of questions that I have to answer from the person that nominated me (I believe there’s a total of 11), and then in turn I have to nominate 11 others to continue on with the tradition. 

So here's the questions Amanda challenged me with:

1) If you were a pickle in a jar, where would you want to be and why? I would be a dill pickle not in the middle and not on the side of the jar, but snuggly in between.  
2) What is your favorite holiday?  I love both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  We celebrate one of our niece's birthdays over Thanksgiving and I love the huge amounts of family time for Christmas.
3) If you have a bucket list, what is the most ridiculous thing on it?  I don't have a bucket list. :-(
4) If you could only watch one disney movie for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?  I'm not a big Disney fan, but I would have to say Beauty and the Beast -- I'm a sucker for love stories!
5) What is your favorite nursery rhyme? This Little Piggy -- who doesn't love the "wee wee wee all the way home"?
6) Do you have any pets? If no, why not?  We have a cat who looks like Garfield and acts like a dog.
7) Is your current hair color your natural hair color?  Not really, but it's grown out enough that the roots are seriously showing and the gray is coming in (why does it always come in on my part?).  But, since I'm in my first trimester, there will be no coloring anytime soon!
8) What do you like to do in your spare time?  Read, walk, spend time with family and friends, sleep
9) If you could be any crayon color, which would you choose to be? Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown because I like the name!
10) What is the furthest you have been away from home and where was it?  Australia -- as a foreign exchange student in high school
11) How old were you when you got your first cell phone? I was a senior in college, so about 21.  It was a HUGE purple flip phone.  

Here's who I'm tagging (All awesome women and awesome blogs!):
Augusta @ All In One Basket
Mel @ Believe in Miracles
Hattie @ Between the Sheets
Cheryl @ Cheryl Looking Forward
Suzanna @ Desire to Mother
Kristen @ Keeping the Faith
Rebecca @ Life of an Army Wife
Kristina @ It's My Life
MN @ MN's Adventures After 40
Ali @ Not All Dreams are Free
L @ Tiny Bits of Hope

Here's your questions ladies:
1.  If you had a day all to yourself, with nothing to do, how would you spend it?
2. Are you left handed or right handed?
3.  What is your favorite time of day?  Why?
4.  What is your favorite color?
5.  If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
6.  What was the last thing you ate?
7.  What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or not)?
8.  What book could you read over and over again?
9.  What is your best feature?
10.  What was the best Halloween costume you had as a kid?
11.  What do you normally eat for breakfast?


The Results Are In...Beta News

I went in for my beta on Monday -- which was 12dp5dt or 17dpo.  I had been really calm through this whole process (very unlike me) until Sunday when I started to get  nervous about the blood test results.  We had decided we wouldn't test at home beforehand and the suspense was really getting to me.  I was feeling symptoms, but knew those could be caused by the progester.one.  I was actually a bit sad on Sunday night as my hubby gave me my progester.one shot as I kept thinking "what if this is the last one?"

Because of work commitments I couldn't go to the clinic until 10:30 for the blood draw. I was physically shaking by the time I got to the office.  I dressed in purple (for June baby -- my stepmom told me she was wearing purple Monday too!)  There was a bit of a wait as they were very busy, but I finally got in for the draw.  The phlebotomist asked me if I had a "lucky arm".  Um, no, just choose the one that is going to be the easiest and least painful.  I gave her my phone number and she told me Dr. C would call with the results before lunch.  I texted hubby and the waiting began.

Around 11:15 my cell phone rang and my stomach dropped. I contemplated living in denial and not answering it, but I answered and it was Dr. C on the line.  I had googled to see what a good hcg number was on 17dpo and found that it should be above 250.  Dr. C told me my hcg was 1200+ and to come back on Wednesday for a repeat draw.  I pretty much lost it then and am quite sure I told him I loved him.  Yeah, not sure I'm going to be able to face him again!  I asked about my progesterone level and he said he didn't have the number as it wasn't back yet.  He congratulated me and we hung up.  I called hubby right away and shared the news.  I told him that on 17dpo of my last pregnancy, my hcg level was 100, so 1200+ was pretty fantastic!

I decided then that I needed to buy things to pee on, but waited until after work to do so.

I went back on Wednesday and after an agonizing blood draw (apparently the vein in my left arm has decided to start rolling the last two times I've had blood drawn from it), headed back to work for another wait.  The phlebotomist apologized over and over for having to dig for the vein, but I told her I was so happy she could do just about anything to me and I wouldn't complain.  The call came from Dr. C while I was on my way to lunch with some co-workers (I was driving) so I couldn't right the hcg number down, but he told me it was 2300+ which made me happy.  It also made me happy he told me the next step is ultrasound in about 2 weeks (yay -- no more blood draws).  I had asked the lab tech when I was there what my progesterone was on Monday and she said it was above 80 (apparently they stop quantifying it at 80).

I've continued to confirm the pregnancy at home and I can tell you there is no better vision than to see the pregnant line come up BEFORE the control line and to see the word "pregnant" staring back at you.  It honestly feels surreal! I had a rough day at work today (it's been a very busy and long week) and tonight I came home and took a test just because I could.  "Hello, my name is JJ, and I am addicted to peeing on sticks."

We are cautiously optimistic about this.  I feel really great about the numbers, but know we have a long way to go.  I think for both of us to feel secure, we need to make it past the 7 week mark as that is when the miscarriage happened 2 years ago.  I know it is going to be very difficult for me to go into the ultrasound room in two weeks.

I'm feeling pretty good, a little nausea here and there, sore breasts, slight headache, some cramping/pulling and totally exhausted (as in going to bed by 9:30 every night after my PIO injection and sometimes napping before that).

I know this news can be difficult to hear when you are trying so hard to get pregnant, so I am considering creating a new  blog where I will write about the pregnancy and keeping this blog to still talk about the emotions of the whole fertility journey.  I would like to have a blog that IRL family and friends can follow eventually, without being privy to the whole "back story" that is included on this blog. We'll see.

Today I am 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant -- eeks!


October 15 Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Tonight I take a break away from the excitement around this IVF cycle, to remember my butterfly born on October 7, 2010 at 7 weeks.  I was soooooooooo thrilled to find out I was pregnant after nearly 4 years of trying -- and on a natural cycle of all things.  My beta tripled in 48 hours and we were on cloud 9.  I spotted throughout the time I knew I was pregnant, and something in the back of my mind told me something was wrong, but my doctor convinced me it was completely normal.  On October 6, I remember leaving a meeting at work and thinking something didn't feel right, it felt like something shifted in my belly.  That night I started having heavy spotting and the next morning an ultrasound confirmed I was miscarrying.  We were devastated.  I will never forget the time I was pregnant, nor the miscarriage experience -- I remember it all in vivid detail.  I will never be the same as I was before my butterfly.

This community is full of ups and downs, happiness and sadness, BFPs and BFNs, and sadly, the loss of pregnancies and children.  Tonight I think of all of you who have angels in heaven.  It's a club noone wants to be a part of, but one that brings us closer together, even though we've never met face-to-face.

Tonight I am so thankful I found this community of wonderful, strong and supportive women.  


Tale of a Transfer and 9dp5dt

I can't believe my transfer was already 9 days ago and I haven't written about it.  Have I mentioned I'm exhausted?  I went to bed at 7:00 last night, got up to do my pio injection and then went back to bed.  The only thing keeping me up right now is that I have to give myself my pio injection (hubby is in class) in an hour.

Anyway, on to the transfer story...

Hubby had to be out of town on Wednesday (he's the only one who does his job so didn't have much of an option).  So we decided to call my parents to tell them what we were doing (they didn't know) and to ask for their help.  My dad told me they would cancel any plans they had and drop everything to help out (how cute is that?).  I asked my step-mom to take me and I immediately got a text from her saying she was 'honored, excited and so happy'.

Wednesday morning I woke up and ran a couple of errands before heading to acupuncture at 10:30 a.m.  Around 11:15 I arrived at my parents house.  My dad met me in the driveway and gave me a big hug and told me how excited he was.  When I walked into the house, my step-mom was wearing a purple shirt and commented on my purple shirt -- saying purple means June babies!  Apparently she had been doing her research!  I took my Valium and started drinking water.

We got to the clinic a little before noon and my favorite nurse called me back.  I got changed into the gown, footies and hair guard, and my step-mom got changed into scrubs, footies and hair guard.  At this point, my bladder was really full, so Katie, the nurse, told me to find a happy medium as the doc hadn't arrived back from surgery yet, so there would be a wait.  I was able to relieve myself a little bit and headed back to the transfer room.  My step-mom and I sat and chatted for about 20 minutes until Dr C. arrived.  During this time Katie also gave my step-mom the list of instructions/restrictions for the 2ww, so my step-mom read them to me.  I read the list later and giggled a little  when I realized she had skipped some of the instructions -- like no sex during the 2ww.

Dr. C came in and told me we would be transferring one "perfect" embryo and I asked if that was the only one that survived to day 5.  He said yes, but that it was perfect so he had a good feeling.  He gave me a picture and we were off.  Before I knew it, Katie was showing us the ultrasound monitor and where the embryo was being placed.  She printed out a picture for me to keep of the placement.  And yes, my bladder was REALLY full according to the ultrasound!  I had to lay there for another 30 minutes, and then we were allowed to change and leave.

My parents had decided it would be a good idea for me to spend the night at their house, since hubby wouldn't be home until Thursday night.  I was hesitant, as I think the last time I stayed overnight with my parents was when I was in college!  It was great though -- I really didn't lift a finger to do anything for all of Wednesday and Thursday morning.  My step-mom had even gotten me some chicken noodle soup from Costco -- so I would have comfort food.  (If you live near a Costco, you MUST try this soup)

Late Thursday morning they brought me home and I continued on strict bed rest until 10:00 Friday morning when I had another acupuncture appointment.  The rest of Friday I laid low and hung out on the couch as much as possible.

It was great to be home, and even better to have hubby home late Thursday afternoon.  My cat was pretty pissed off at my during my time at home.  He loves it when I lay on the couch and he lays on my chest/stomach.  I wouldn't let him do that of course, and so he refused to lay anywhere but at my feet -- he was NOT going to cuddle next to me.  Luckily he has warmed up a bit since then, but still lets me know often how unhappy he is.  Sorry kitty, but you are 16 pounds and I've got precious cargo in my ute.

I am so thankful for my parents and how wonderfully supportive they have been through this process.  My dad and step-mom didn't get married until I was in college, so she and I have never been super close.  It meant so much to me that she was able and willing to be a part of this process with me and if this results in a grandbaby, their relationship will be so very special!  I'm not going to lie -- I have really missed my mom so much the last 6 years during our infertility struggles.  It was really nice to have these special moments with my step-mom.

Beta is early next week.  I'm feeling remarkably calm, although I can feel the anxiety creeping in.  Symptoms come and go, and I really feel like it could go either way.  Honestly, I have tried not to picture anything other than it working as an option.  There have been many BFPs among the bloggers I follow, and I am hoping to add myself to that rank as well.

Thanks again for all of your thoughts, prayers, and positive vibes!  They are all very much appreciated!



I plan to still write about the transfer story, but honestly, don't have it in me tonight.  After 2 days of strict bed rest and 1 day of taking it very easy, hubby and I went out of town for the weekend.  We went to a town about 2.5 hours from home and did some sightseeing of Frank Lloyd Wright houses in the area and stayed at a lovely refurbished FLW hotel.  Today we met up with the rest of his family for our niece's birthday party.  We always go to a one day only pumpkin patch which was fun as always.  I thought it wise to skip the hay rack ride this year!

So here's a random rundown of where I'm at...

  • Right now I am feeling very calm during this 2ww.  My beta is still a week away but I am not anxious at all.  I'm sure that will come as the week goes on.  But for now, I feel peace.
  • I will not be testing at home before the beta.  When my beta is positive I will pee on all sorts of things.
  • I've actually lost weight during this process.  Not a lot, but a few pounds.  My appetite has been weird.  From retrieval to transfer my stomach was quite upset and especially meat just had no appeal. I'm feeling better now, but am trying to feed my body healthy, whole foods as much as possible.  Yes, I have eaten lots of pineapple (as well as the core) and am trying to eat an avocado every day/every other day.
  • My boobs are so sore -- SO SORE! I'm not sure I'm going to be able to sleep on my stomach much longer.
  • I gave myself a pio injection in the car at the drive-in movie theater on Friday night.  Hubby, who was sitting next to me, asked me when we got home if we needed to do my shot.  When I told him I had already done it, he hadn't had a clue!  
  • As of today I am 100% exhausted.  We got home about 5:30, I laid down and slept for about an hour, and I am STILL exhausted.  
  • I feel like I am peeing all of the time!  I'm trying to stay well hydrated. I would, however, just about do anything for a Diet Mt. Dew right now.  
  • I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow after having 3 days off last week.  Ugh...
  • My cat is very pissed at me because I won't let him lay on my stomach/chest.  It's one of our rituals at night -- I lay down on the couch and he comes and lays with me.  Until Friday he was so mad at me he refused to lay anywhere but at my feet.  Friday he finally came around and cuddled up next to me.  Sorry kitty!
  • I do have to say that every time I sneeze, cough, blow my nose or even go to the bathroom, I have visions of our embryo being pushed out.  I know that's impossible, but still hard to not think about.  
  • I've got a runny/stuffed up nose which stinks.  Luckily nothing else...hoping it stays that way.  We had a 40 degree drop in temperature from Wednesday to Saturday so I'm hoping it is just from that and will go away very soon!  Loading up on the Vitamin C!
  • I'm feeling lots of twinges and pulls, especially on the left side of my stomach.  The left ovary was the overachiever, and based on where she put the ultrasound wand during transfer, I think my uterus is located more on the left side as well.  These twinges make me happy.  
  • I'm on twitter!  You can find me at jjs_journey.  If you are on twitter, let me know how to find you!  
  • I found this interesting chart of what happens every day post 5 day transfer... http://www.nyufertilitycenter.org/ivf/embryo_transfer

5-Day Transfer

Days Past
Transfer (DPT)
Embryo Development
OneThe blastocyst begins to hatch out of its shell
TwoThe blastocyst continues to hatch out of its shell and begins to attach itself to the uterus
ThreeThe blastocyst attaches deeper into the uterine lining, beginning implantation
FourImplantation continues
FiveImplantation is complete, cells that will eventually become the placenta and fetus have begun to develop
SixHuman chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) starts to enter the blood stream
SevenFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
EightFetal development continues and hCG continues to be secreted
NineLevels of hCG are now high enough to detect a pregnancy

I've been a bad commenter lately and am working on catching up.  

Thanks again for all of the well wishes and positive thoughts and prayers!



This will be short as I'm not on a computer, but we transferred one "perfect" embryo today.  Those were the doctor's words.  In the picture they gave me it appears to be beginning to hatch.   They even gave me a picture of my uterus with the embryo in it.  We do not have any to freeze.  

Thanks again for all of your support, thoughts, and prayers!


I Can Hardly Sit Still!

By this time tomorrow I will be PUPO!  Tonight I had a massage to help me relax (I'm a very type A personality).  My transfer is at noon, so tomorrow morning, I'm just going to do some little things to keep myself busy -- go to the chiropractor, maybe get an oil change, go to acupuncture, and then settle down with a nice little Valium.  I have tomorrow and Thursday off of work, and then am scheduled to work from home on Friday, though I may decide to take a PTO day instead.

Thanks ladies for all of your love and good wishes!  Between the egg retrieval and now has been a bit tougher than I anticipated.  I got very bloated and sore, and now I am having a spasm in my back.  And my tummy has just generally been icky feeling.  I also haven't heard anything about our embies since Saturday, and I just wonder how they are doing.  I guess I will know soon enough.  (Yes, we do know how many fertilized, but since we haven't had an update, I'm going to wait until tomorrow to talk more about that).

I thought hubby was going to cry on Saturday night when he gave me my first PIO injection.  He did a great job and it really didn't hurt at the time, though it was sore afterwards.

More tomorrow!


More on Yesterday

Thank you to all of you for your support, especially on my last couple of posts -- I cannot express to you how grateful I am for your words of love, encouragement and advice.

As I mentioned last night, egg retrieval went very smoothly.  I spent the morning relaxing and we arrived at the clinic at 9:45.  I got to change into the lovely gown, footies (I was wearing the heart socks sent to me by one of my Braces Bunch friends), and hair cover (why are those gowns so darn big?).  I sat down in the recliner with hubby next to me and the IV was started.  Did I mention my favorite nurse was my nurse?  Katie's simply awesome!   She also went over the details of what we need to do between retrieval and transfer on Wednesday.  My clinic only does 5 day transfers.

I asked if I could take my headphones back to the retrieval room with me and was told yes (I was expecting to not be able to).  At this point we were just waiting for Dr. C to show up.  He showed up a few minutes after 10 and came in to see if we had any questions.  We didn't and I said 'Let's do this.'   He said "Just give me 2 good eggs to work with -- the rest is gravy."  Katie gave me some of the relaxation drugs and she and another nurse walked me back to the retrieval room.  

I laid down on the table and they immediately started covering me with blankets -- including wrapping each of my legs in separate blankets which I thanked them for in my drugged up state.  They spent some time cleansing my lady parts, asking me to lift my butt up and down and scooting down further.  Katie told me there were about to start and told me to let her know if I wanted more drugs at any point. I think something was said about exfoliation which frightened me a little bit.  Before I knew it wandy was put in and I was feeling the extraction, which was quite unpleasant.  So I asked Katie for some more of those drugs and that is the last thing I remember.  

I woke up around 11:30, laid back in the recliner in the recovery room.  I'm  embarrassed to say I woke myself up snoring!  Luckily we were the only retrieval yesterday morning. Hubby and Katie were there and Katie told me we got 8 eggs, which she said was great.  I asked how I had gotten back to the chair from the retrieval room and was told I had walked.  Um yeah, don't remember that at all!  Hopefully I didn't say anything too incriminating during this time!  Katie asked me about pain -- I had none really and then took out my iv.  

Hubby came into the bathroom with me to help me get changed and Katie marked 4 lovely spots on my tush for the progesterone shots, which start  tonight.  We headed home, getting some food on the way, and then I made my home on the couch, where I slept off and on until about 4:00.  

Yesterday and today I have felt pretty bloated and sore.  Not really crampy, but can definitely feel that there was trauma in that area.  Some light bleeding yesterday, but that has ended.  Today I'm taking it easy again. Tomorrow I am getting together with my best friend which will be awesome!

While I was initially disappointed about the 8 eggs, I am choosing to look at it very positively.  Given the news of my AMH and FSH earlier this year (AMH was under 1 and FSH was over 10), and my advanced maternal age (I hate that phrase) I felt like the clinic was sort of writing me off on producing much of anything.  I'm no longer a spring chicken ya know!

I went into this fully aware that the whole process could be canceled at anytime -- if I wasn't making any eggs, if fertilization didn't occur, etc -- and I feel extremely blessed to be this far with eight lovely eggs that may turn into my rainbow baby. While some might consider me a pessimist, I really feel that I am an realist and like to be prepared for the best and worse case scenarios. I will not take any part of this process for granted.  I'm trying to not Dr. Google too much. 

So now we wait until Wednesday for transfer.  Please continue to send your good thoughts and prayers for growth of the embryos!


Egg Retrieval

Went well today.  We got 8 eggs.  Of course I was hoping for more, but am very happy.  Feeling sore and very bloated.  Progesterone shots start tomorrow...any tips?

More tomorrow when I am on a real computer and not the iPad.

Good night!


Tomorrow is a No Shot Day

That can only mean one thing...I've been triggered!  Just minutes ago I gave myself the two trigger injections, following a fantastic appointment today.  But let me back up.

Monday when I got the phone call to keep doing stims and that I didn't need to be seen again until Wednesday I was a bit defeated. The nurse I saw didn't really tell me anything and was pretty brutal with ole wandy.   I was pretty certain this meant I wasn't progressing as they would have liked.  So I contacted my acupuncturist Lindsey (who specializes in fertility), and went for a visit.

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling bloated and by the end of the day I had to unbutton my pants.  Tuesday night I got together with my infertility peer group (also started by the wonderful Lindsey).  These ladies are amazing and everyone is in different places in their journeys.  Much like this blog, it is nice to have other ladies who understand what I am going through and can offer advice, stories and hugs.  Last month we couldn't stop talking and before we knew it two hours had passed.  This month Lindsey set a timer so we would stay at an hour and we still went long.

This morning I went into my appointment feeling hopeful (and bloated) and really grateful for everyone who is cheering for us and praying for us.  Lab draw was first and she put the needle in and nothing came out.  So she moved it around a bit and still nothing.  This has NEVER happened to me.  So I am now sporting lovely bruises on both arms.  She felt horrible, but I told her in the end, if it results in a baby, I would forgive her!

Next was the ultrasound with a nurse I hadn't ever met before and she was AWESOME!  She explained everything to me, gushed about how everything had grown a ton since Monday, and that my lining looked perfect.  PERFECT!  She felt 90% certain that I would be triggering tonight and gave me all of the instructions for what to do.   Of course, she still had to wait for lab results before a final determination was made.  She assured me that if my retrieval was Friday, she and the nurse who has been my "case manager" would be by my side for the entire retrieval.  I left feeling really great and hopeful.

A couple of hours later she called and left me a message with directions and to call her back.  When I did, she explained everything in detail and answered every question I had.  Generally triggers happen 35 hours before retrieval, but mine was actually 37 hours as they think the trigger will help some of the smaller follicles mature and grow to the right size.

So that's it -- retrieval is set for 10 a.m. on Friday (we have to be there at 9:45) and that means transfer will likely occur next Wednesday.

EEKS -- this is really happening!


Still Growing...Still Injecting

Went in for another ultrasound and lab work this morning.  Things are progressing and more eggs sacs are showing themselves.  I did not get a call to tell me to change my protocol (based on estrogen levels) so we will assume all is well and keep on keeping on.  I go back in the morning for another check.  At this point I am guessing retrieval will be Thursday or Friday and I am optimistic for 8 - 12 eggs.

Right before I got called back for the ultrasound, someone who works for the same organization as me walked into the waiting room.  Then as I left the lab, someone I know quite well from a volunteer board we serve on was in the waiting room.  Can we say awkward?  I mean, really, what do you say in a situation like that?  Hi?  Oh are you here for monitoring?  An IUI?  What are you doing the rest of the day? Nice weather isn't it?  I stuck with the basic 'hi" and headed out the door.  We are a pretty big metro city, and there is only one fertility clinic with 2 docs, so I guess it is bound to happen.

I've got a pretty bad headache today and am generally just feeling down.  I'm sure it is because of the unknowns -- how many eggs will be retrieved?  How many will fertilize?  Will any of them make it to day 5?

Wishing you all a great week!



If you are visiting from ICLW -- welcome!  It seems like just a week or two ago it was the August ICLW.

Here's the backstory;
Welcome ICLW friends!  Here's a brief synopsis of our journey.  Been trying to conceive for almost 6 years, taking a very conservative path.  Slightly low sperm numbers, but didn't find anything else was wrong.  Did 3 IUIs -- all BFNs.  Did several months of Femara. On a natural cycle in 2010 we got pregnant and at 7 weeks miscarried.  Tried (and continue to use) lots of alternative/natural treatments including chiropractic, acupuncture, supplements and diet changes for me.  I lost some weight.  Still nothing.  This winter we received news that my numbers had changed for the worse and it looked like my egg reserve might be getting low (I don't put a lot of faith in numbers so have a hard time believing this).  Even though it was against everything we had ever said we would/wouldn't do, we decided to proceed with IVF.  Two days before the cycle was supposed to start my husband backed out.  I was heartbroken and we started couples 
counseling.  That was 3 months ago.  

Here's where we are today:
In mid-August my husband said he was willing to give IVF a try.  

  • On August 23, I began daily birth control pill and a testosterone gel
  • On September 7, hubby and I began antibiotics -- 1 for him, 2 for me
  • On September 12 I completed the bcp regimen and traded the gel for a testosterone patch
  • On September 14 I had my suppression check and learned to give myself injections
  • From September 3 - 17 I spent a lot of time on the phone with two mail order pharmacies, trying to get all of my meds and insurance in order.  I am so thankful to have insurance, but the pharmacies were a challenge to work with.
  • September 17 I began twice a day injections and immediately started feeling things happening in my belly.  
  • September 21 (today) I had my first monitoring ultrasound and labs
  • Retrieval should occur sometime between Wednesday and Friday next week, with transfer 5 days later (my clinic doesn't do 3 day transfers)
The appointment today overall went well.  I was much less nervous for this one than for my one last Friday.  I have decided that for now, I am not going to mention numbers on my blog (number of egg sacs, lab results, number of eggs retrieved, fertilized and transferred).  I may change my mind at a later date, but for now, I just need to keep this info internally.  It is so hard not to compare and drive myself crazy wondering if the number should be higher/different/etc.  The truth is, it only takes the perfect combination of 1 egg and 1 sperm to make our take home baby and THAT is my focus....along with staying relaxed.  I will say the number of egg sacs seen today was not as many as I had hoped for, but the nurse seemed pleased, and said there were likely some we couldn't see.  I go in again Sunday morning.  The nurse told me my doctor will be there on Sunday to do the ultrasound so looking forward to that.  

Tomorrow I am going to go to the library to get some books to read during my retrieval recovery and bed rest after transfer.  Other than that and some light cleaning, this weekend is about relaxing and staying positive.  

Thanks for all of the good thoughts and prayers you have been sending my way!  Please keep them coming!  


First Casualty

My daily schedule changes on a regular basis.  I don't have a normal 8 - 5 type of job.  Most days I get to work at 7:30, so I decided I would give my morning injection (stims) at 7 a.m figuring that would be about the time I was leaving the house.  As fate would have it, I've had several morning meetings this week (unexpectedly).  Tuesday I gave the injection to myself in my office.  Today I gave it to myself in the car (parked of course).  There was a small casualty though.  As I was injecting using the Folli.stim pen, it slipped out of my fingers and was hanging from my tummy. Instant bleeding and bruise, which, as the day has progressed has turned into a bump and deep purple bruise.  It is truly impressive.  Luckily, I was able to regain my composure and stick myself again to deliver the meds.

Tomorrow I have a meeting at 6:45, so I guess I'll have to excuse myself to the bathroom and come back.  Oh adventures!  

Friday is my first monitoring appointment.  Please, if you are willing, please say a prayer and/or send good thoughts my way.  I definitely feel action happening in the belly area and last night my jeans felt tight already.  I hope that is good news.  

I'm feeling pretty good actually, other than the sore belly, which I planned for.  My emotions so far have been stable, which was my biggest concern (I think it was hubby's biggest concern/fear as well). I've had a slight headache off and on, but it is harvest time (and we live by a field) so it could be from that too.  I'm super tired -- feel like hibernating -- or at least taking a nap by mid-afternoon.  Not sure if that is the drugs, the cooler weather, the dark mornings, a crazy work schedule or something else.  I simply cannot wait for the weekend!  I actually feel better on the stims than I did on the antibiotics!  

I've been a horrible commenter lately.  I'm reading your blogs, just having a hard time commenting through blogger.  I intend to also catch up on that this weekend.  


I Survived!

The first day of injections that is.  I gave myself Folli.stim this morning (piece of cake) and Rep.ronex  tonight (a bit more intimidating due to the mixing involved).  I had no hesitation poking myself and though the Rep.ronex burned quite a bit, it was really pretty simple.

One day down...9-11 to go!

Tomorrow and Wednesday I have to go to work early, so the Follistim pen will come with me.  A new adventure.

I think I can already feel activity in my ovary area...is that weird...is it too early?


New, Blue and Morning...Plus an Update

I am so far behind on Em's 30 day photo challenge.  Instead of boring you with a post completely of photos, to get caught up, I will instead post 2-3 pictures everyday from here on out (that day's photo plus one from the time I missed).

Day 16:  New

This is actually a very old piece of furniture -- it was my great grandparents (on my mom's side).  My mom and dad spent a lot of time refinishing it many years ago and then somehow it ended up in my Grams' house (on my dad's side).  We moved my Grams to assisted living several months ago, so are working on cleaning out her house so it can be rented.  This piece of furniture is NEW in our house.  I love it!

Day 10:  Morning
This is my morning routine...lots of supplements and vitamins.  Hopefully this is gonna help me create some stellar eggs (that turn into stellar embryos) over the next two weeks!

Day 11:  Blue
This is my favorite place to be at my Grams' house.  I'm gonna miss this when the house is rented/sold.  I've spent many a good hour on this swing with a good book, chatting with a cousin, or just enjoying the quiet.

This past Wednesday I finished off the birth control pills and started testosterone patches (vs. the gel I was using everyday).  Friday was my baseline ultrasound that should lots of resting follies, and learning how to use the meds.  Friday night my Repro.nex, Ov.idrel and Progeste.rone arrived from one mail order pharmacy.  As I opened it I realized though that they did not send me any syringes for the Repro.nex (which I start tomorrow) and the Progeste.rone.  Oops.  So I called yesterday and they will overnight them to me tomorrow, so I should have them hopefully in time for my evening Repro.nex injection.  Tomorrow I will have to check with a local pharmacy to see if they will give me just one syringe to get through tomorrow night.  My other meds, the Gani.relix and Follis.tim should arrive on Tuesday.  I actually star the Follis.tim tomorrow morning, but luckily my nurse at the clinic gave me a pen and cartridge to last me until then.  I never knew getting meds all lined up could be so terribly stressful.

I was so nervous for the appointment on Friday.  I know at anytime this whole thing could be derailed.  Pessimistic?  Not really -- just trying to be realistic.  I was happy to get the green light to start moving forward tomorrow.  At this point I'm just ready to get this show on the road.  My first ultrasound and lab will be on Friday and she said by then we have to have 5 follies that are 9mm or bigger to move forward.

So here's to some serious egg growing this week.  Cheers!


Out of Town

Out of town for a long weekend...back soon with more of Em's photo challenge.  Hope you are all well!


Photo Challenge Day 4

My heart is breaking tonight for Steph, who at her 9 week graduation ultrasound after her FET, found out there was no heartbeat.  Please say an extra prayer for her and her husband tonight!

Day Four:  School

I would be a full-time student if I could afford it.  Multiple times I have strongly considered going back to get my PhD, but the dissertation scares the living crap out of me.  Luckily, my employer offers tuition reimbursement, so last fall I was able to take a graduate class in Compensation & Benefits (the really big book in the picture).

I've also taught at local colleges as a part-time job since getting my Master's Degree 10 years ago.  This spring I decided to take a break from it and focus more time on other things (like becoming a mom).  I feel good about this decision, though I know I will miss it.

Popular Posts