Tuesday, April 26, 2011

early pregnancy symptoms / worry

My mother assures me that when I was in her tommy, she did not have Even ONE day feeling under the weather - despite spending hours jumping around on ski slopes!  I have not been so lucky.  I am now about 5 weeks and 4 or 5 days, and for some time now, have felt generally nauseated, famished and exhausted most if the time (and I only seem to want to eat lemon and pepper chicken!)

I am convinced that I actually felt the conception - not in my tommy, but in the form of a "sizzle in the tit" specifically in my left tit!  Needless to say my tits have been Extremely painful from the very beginning.  Yesterday I had to lie down at the chiropractor, and had to restrain myself from squealing when he pressed down on my shoulder blades - because my tits were being SO squished!

At five days after home insemination, I felt what I think was implantation / boring into my uterus.  The following day I had a speck of brown blood. And the subsequent day I felt more boring / digging into my uterus at the exact same place, So I figured my embryo was getting a good hold onto life, but now I am wondering - could there be two!  After all I did have two big O's !

My first HCG at 11 or 12 days post ovulation was 38.4, my second at 20 / 21 was over 3000.  The nurse said "congratulations - I guess the holiday did you some good." That evening I was having so many cramps I began to worry whether something might be wrong, only to wake up the next morning and find that I felt perfectly normal - and definitely felt NOT pregnant, and the urge to urinate and the "plugged up feeling" had gone. 

I was so relieved to hear that they would do a third beta (which actually was quite unnecessary) but it calmed me down NO END to get another set of good results.  I guess each day brings something different.  Day 24 / 25  beta over was over 15 000.  So now I realize that with pregnancy there is ALWAYS something to worry about.  Too much pain - no pain - exhaustion.  And now,  I checked my beta values and found that although they fall within the upper ranges of singleton - they are higher than average for twins - and bang on average for triplets!!!

Oh Dear God - "Give me one baby or two, but NOT Triplets!"  I warn everyone now, I will do some very awful things if there are Three in my tommy.  I have only two hands, two bank accounts, and two tits!!

I want to thank everyone for their comments on my last post.  Now, when I bump into my Dog's best friend's mother,  I will have the self confidence to smile, wave hello - and walk boldly on!

In conclusion to the last post, she actually called and left a phone message, which it took me 3 days to summon the courage to listen to.  She said "HI Sarah, I just want to to know, I really do hope you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and I Hope it's Everything you Think you Wanted, but I really can't handle your  passive aggressive personality, so Good LUCK to you.... Click"

Thanks so much to everyone for their support, I understand now that she must be extremely unhappy - and probably she wants a baby of her own, but doesn't realize it.  Fortunately, she has ended our friendship, so we can both make space for something more rewarding!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

When the Best Friend Reacts Badly!

Truth be said - she is actually my dog's Best Friend's Mother, but we frequently walk the dogs around the neighborhood, such that I feel she is or aught to be one of My best friends.  In fact, she has been more a part of my TTC discussions than anyone except my mother.

As we have both been out of town for some weeks, Friday was the first time I actually got to tell her that I am Pregnant.  Thinking back, she has been very kind to me - an excellent chef, she has taught me to make a number of "Mummy dishes" so that I can be able to cook something my child one day might wish to eat, and she has often baby sat my dog.

I suppose there were a couple of signs that she was not particularly happy for me to try to get pregnant.  I remember the day she told me just after my first IUI "Who knows - you might find they mixed up the sperm, you could be giving birth to a Black baby" to which I said, "That would be just fine - at least I would know that whatever sperm the bank sent, it comes from a super healthy, smart college grad - and the baby will be genetically mine.  But the couple down the road (who did IVF) They could potentially find out that neither of their (gorgeous) twins are theirs at all.  They might belong to another couple entirely!" And thankfully that was the end of that.  I have to admit, I was SO relieved that I never told her about my donor freak out! (About his high forehead and need of a makeover!)

Then there was the time when she said to me, "I don't even know if you will be a good mother - You told me you might not bother buying a crib ((no because I might be lent one - and I do have some odd ideas about child rearing - but obviously will make sure my child is safe)) And you said that if you don't like the way your kids looks when it arrives, you will donate it to GoodWill" - This is actually is true, but I thought anyone would know I was kidding!

After I had heard her latest holiday news, I shared my BIG News.  I heard her saying "I hope you don't think you can replace the love of a Husband with that of a Baby!"  Trying to keep things light hearted, I commented that I wouldn't have to, because I had already replaced it with the love of my DOG.  She did not seem satisfied and said "Well I hope you have a lot of money saved for therapy - because you're going to need it!"  She continued her ruminations, such that I felt bound to say "Well actually there's no way to know What love replaces What - because you don't have a baby in your tommy - and I don't have a husband - so there is no way to compare."

Then she started to say "And what are you going to tell people - about the father - you've GOT to be honest."  The weird thing is that I could understand someone asking me all these questions if this was the first time they had heard of me wanting a baby - but she has been part of the process since well before the beginning! So I said "Well I can say whatever I want - actually it is fairly rude for people to ask - so I might just say I have no idea who he is, whatsoever!"  She then said "You will Have to tell them the Truth - you will have to say - """I couldn't get a steady relationship and I was getting SO old I decided to get myself inseminated""" you HAVE to be honest".  At this point I must admit I was getting really annoyed and I couldn't understand why she would ever think that I would lie - as I am not someone who ever lies.

I guess I was running out of answers, so I said "well I could always ask them for details about their father (as it really is none of their business) - or I could tell them I ordered a vial over the internet" She said "Well their father will actually Have a name, and your child's father doesn't"  Then she actually continued - "Look at how you turned out, with what your mother told you about Your Father" At this point I was really annoyed but tried to keep calm, so said "Well actually my mother has never lied to me - and if you don't mind me saying so, I think I've turned out - just fine"

Now a normal person would probably have left the conversation at this point - but like an idiot I stayed - and brought up less inflammatory topics.  We managed to keep walking a further quarter mile or so, until  we came to a small hill.  At this point I started to feel a little odd / faint / and feel some sort of pressure in places I won't mention, and so sat down for a few minutes under a tree.

Instead of her saying "Are you OK" she said "Well if you're going to start acting Like That, People are going to start asking" and like an idiot I said "Not if you help me think up some really good excuses."  A moment later still immersed in a very unpleasant conversation, we bumped into some neighbors,  and finally I had the good sense to wave good bye, and go on home by my self.  Only when I had arrived home, did it dawn on me that she had never once said Congratulations.

The only explanation I can think of - Is that despite what she has always said (in the four years I have know her) - SHE Wants a Baby!   I am never walking my dog with her again - at least not until she finds a better mood.  The problem is, we keep bumping in to each other - and our dogs just  Love each other!

PS I want to thank everyone for their Lovely Lovely, encouraging and wonderful comments - And Many thanks for my Versatile Blogger Award! -BTW my Second beta test got great numbers and I am currently preparing another post about various gossip that was not relevant to this post!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First Response Test is Crap

Last night after exhausting myself running all over town getting "stuff done" including taxes sent off, and attending a couple boring meetings,  I fell asleep on my couch.  I awoke just in time to take my pregnancy test over to my friend's house, for her and her husband to "pronounce" upon. They are also TTC and were quite certain it was negative. Somehow I was not in the slightest bit concerned.

This morning I did another test, and it looked a little more convincing.  So much so that I showed it to a random girl in the parking lot, before my Beta.  She glanced for just one second and said "CONGRATULATIONS".  For the first time since starting this TTC journey I felt Amazingly HAPPY.

I was at the airport when the nurse called to confirm, my BFP.  She actually said I should not be going out of town, because they have to do 3 more tests at two day intervals.  (Well thanks for telling me ahead of time!).  I told her there would surely be plenty of time to worry about numbers when I get home.  I certainly don't want to miss my vacation, because I have to stay home and "worry".  If there is a problem I can deal with it when I can actually use "sick days" not Vacation days!

For now it seems my progesterone is good at 58 (have no idea what this means)  and HCG OK at 38 or 34.  (Nurse said it was a little low, but then we tested a little early).  Have decided not to worry about this - because I could clearly see a stronger test line from yesterday till today.

Turns out my Mom called me 5 times to see if I had the news (after acting cool as a cucumber all day yesterday).  So the whole world (around me) rejoices!  A strange man bought me a drink at the airport (I didn't have the right change)  and I got upgraded to first class.  I just can't believe it all.  Perhaps things will just fall into place easily for this baby?

Extraordinarily, it seems that three out of four of my (smartest) friends, can't read a simple pregnancy test! One line or two - not so simple!  But then I really do think the test is CRAP. Sitting in my first class seat, I texted as many people as I could think of before the plane took off!

I realize its only 50% chance that this pregnancy makes it (as I am 40), but I am determined to enjoy every single second of it while it lasts!  And I am just loving enjoying my first day Knowing I am PREGNANT

Ok now for advice - Can I swim in the ocean (Caribbean) - feels perhaps a tad cooler / or like a swimming pool.  Not cold once you are swimming?   Nurse said, sort of no "you shouldn't even be out of town"

Can I eat soy protein?

What about a little gentle yoga - standing on head ? (for 30 seconds - is all I can do before I get wobbly)?

Ok, so now I got my BFP, I am throwing the bouquet. Next persons TTC reading this (who leave a message) get simply TONS of baby sparkles!

Post Script - Either the Dr Uncommunicative hates me - or her nurse hates that I'm taking a vacation - I just received the following "Your beta hcg level was 38.4, Estradiol- 425, and Progesterone- 58.0. You will need to call us with a return
date so that we can schedule a repeat blood test as soon as possible. Dr. Uncommunicative does feel that you may be at risk for early bleeding and potential miscarriage. Please, feel free to call us with any questions or concerns, congratulations"  What kind and caring and helpful people!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pregnancy test Entertainment 11 pt ICI 10 pt IUI

Yesterday I was not able to do a test because I had run out of cheap tests, and I refused to by an expensive (while out of town) , and besides the day was far too full without the excitement / disappointment of testing.

Today, was another matter.  I awoke in the night to ravenous pangs of hunger, and my tits really are painful - by any standards. Incidentally last night I delved into my jar of Nutella, and found no particular desire to have another spoonful! Very Odd

Pregnancy test Result -  I have no idea.  After 40 minutes of scrutinizing the "6 days early test" (for me either 4 or 5 days early) I still have No Idea.  Even after subjecting it to a further dose of urine, is still Could be positive or Could be negative.  Even after keeping it in my handbag and searching for the line under different shades of lights, in the car at a traffic light, in the store, (privately) during a boring meeting  - Still Not Sure.

I asked a trusted friend to tell me what she thought.  She looked at me with sadness and pity when she said "I'm sorry, its definitely negative."  My acupuncturist was more positive, she said "I can see the line but its not very strong".

One would think a fail safe Early test would be a little easier to read.  What they really should advertise, is "will provide hours of entertainment, and controversy for all friends and family".

Tomorrow I am hoping to get away for a few days at the beach.  I really don't want to have to come home just to get a progesterone prescription if I do turn out to be pregnant.- so I will get the Real Blood test taken tomorrow.  If I am NOT pregnant - I might just decide to keep on with the progesterone a little longer - and enjoy the holiday I deserve - so i don't arrive home too late for day 3 tests!

Fingers crossed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Crazy me - 8 days post ICI, 7 days post IUI

To be honest, I am really quite amazed at the way I handled my whole insemination drama last week.  I was so calm and super confident in my special swimmers, and their ability to find my two special eggs, that for about three days, I walked around (my small town) in total confidence that very shortly I would be giving birth to twins. 

Then on Sunday evening  I started to have a major freak out (that nothing could ease).  I started to worry that I had not placed by swimmers close enough to the cervix and I began to chastise myself for not demanding to be inseminated by a doctor when I could clearly feel that I had ovulated. "I must be more assertive" I kept thinking - but really I hate having to be assertive - I am actually someone who really prefers to agree!  I just pray I never have to go back to my fertility clinic and Dr Uncommunicative - other than to thank them for getting me pregnant (even though in reality they should be thanking me for self inseminating - and boosting their figures).

Anyway, in the midst of my panicking that one egg was lost,  I had some sort of vision about my eggs having their own aura.  The one on the right ovary (that popped out Thursday morning) I saw as having a yellow red color - and the one from my left ovary (popped Friday) I saw as having a blue green aura.  Then I decided my favorite one was the yellow red, but decided that it had died!  I went through a ridiculous phase of morning the loss of my red yellow egg and anger at my doctor.  Then I started feeling that perhaps the smaller (blue green) egg was only second best - and if I do manage to get pregnant - I really want to know whose egg made the baby.  The one I got (red yellow)- or the one the doc inseminated friday (blue green).  

Ok I know I am COMPLETELY crazy.  But this has given me much food for thought and the excuse to start peeing on expensive strips of paper right away.  As yet all negative.  The sooner my test shows up pregnant, the more likely it is to have been the red yellow - fertilized from the home insemination - and that would be Great news.

The good news is that I have been out of town for work - and have been having an insanely great time - due to a whole series of unforeseen coincidences. 

Also I am convinced I had very light spotting on day 6, have no idea what my temp is up to - because I keep forgetting, and now I have misplaced the thermometer.  The progesterone suppository is kind of yucky, and makes me ravenously hungry.  It did however seam to diminish the awful pains in my tits from the ovadril injection.  Did I get to mention it here - I am convinced the Ovadril almost caused my ovaries to rupture - I nearly drove myself to the ER, but then things started to get better. Not sure I should take that again.

More news is that I have met so many lovely people this week - and I even met I guy that interested me.  He was serving me in a music shop.  I am sure he can only be 30 or less, but after much consultation, encouragement and coaching from my friends (and googling him and discovering that he is Not on Facebook), I asked him out for a meal - and we have a date this sunday morning!  Actually when I first saw him, I noticed his thinning hair, high forehead, and gorgeous smile, and I thought "he could be my donor - I hope my donor looks as cute as this".

So Please Pray for me - that I get pregnant with the yellow red egg, that he turns out to be 38, and that he accepts me fat and feminine, and that he has always held the desire to move to my home town.  

Not asking too much am I ?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Office Insemination with Cold Sperm

On Thursday night I fell asleep quietly confident that my home swimmers would have met their target on time  (previous post).  I was somewhat surprised to awake very early the following morning, to the distinct impression that my other ovary was ovulating (the follicle measured at 18 on Wed).  I was delighted to know that in a few hours I would have my IUI.

I waltzed into the RE's office (actually I nearly overslept it - but I got there) and Dr Uncommunicative looked very pleased to see me.  Oddly I think she has decided she finds me quite amusing, and although she never tells me anything informative, I really do like her very much.   It turns out that apparently I had some of the "finest" sperm she had ever seen.  57 million sperm at 100% motility. Yay! Just what I needed to hear. Some good little swimmers.

She then inseminated me - and it hurt when she tried to get thought the cervix (because I had already ovulated Twice  - but I didn't mention this), and she "placed" the 57 mil very COLD sperm into the uterus.  It was odd to feel a chill from inside - and it stayed with me for quite some hours! She told me how happy she was that I had responded so well to the drugs - and that FSH (level of 20) doesn't count for too much theses days. Well well - we will see!

I mentioned that I had done three acupuncture appointments a week for the last two weeks (I ended up settling on the really cheap acupuncturist who is good, and easy to get an appointment with - but doesn't understand the meaning of the word confidentiality - she has even told people in the waiting room what I am there for - discretely of course - but I know!), and Dr Uncommunicative  said - "I am sure the acupuncture has helped - you have had such good numbers". (Of course she didn't think to tell me what they were - and I was trying to be an easy patient so I didn't ask.  After all if this IUI doesn't work I am never going back there and I will be running to CCRM, and I will retrieve the latest notes  before going! And numbers aren't going to change anything now).

Then I told her how at the monitoring session Dr China had told me I was just "so old my hormones were all over the place".  She loved hearing that the other Doc had messed up, and she said "well if he were to say that to his wife - I am sure she would slap him!".  Then I explained that I had not been upset for the reason that, later the exact same day, the Dude from across the road who can only be about 20 -22 asked me out on a date.  He said "if you would like to get together to practice some yoga - or go to the mountains!!!!!"  If only he was not quite so skinny I might have been tempted to be a little less sensible!

It really was very flattering, even though I realize that living with his mother and senile aunt he is desperate to away from his family.  But surely he would want to get a bit further than - the next house over?

Now I try not to notice that my TITS really do HURT - Is it the Twins or the Ovadril?  I peed on my first pregnancy test just to watch the two lines come up (one for each twin) - I know its the Ovadril - but it sure was a good feeling.  It can happen.  Now I have to get to work - I fly to he Big City to work with the Big Company - and am not really sure I am up to the task.  The acupuncturist said "no stress" - but the twins will have to decide now if they want to sign on or not - because this is the way my life is.  Stressy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

defrosted donor and the Big O

A good friend of mine told me "When you do injectables you WILL feel yourself ovulate" She was right.  This was my first cycle with injectables.  After a scare about ovulating too early (on day 7) my RE kept me on 75 mils daily of gonal F (having done Femara days 3-7).

On day CD 8 (Thurs) - I had 4 eggs developing, three in the left ovary (10 -8- 6) and one in the right (8).  On CD 11 (Mon) at monitoring I had a total of only one follicle measuring at (18), everything on the left had disappeared.  The Doc said that given my FSH of 20 we were lucky to get anything at all.  Day 13 showed that there were three follicles again, two on the right (25 & 11) and one on the left (18).

Around CD 12 (Tues) I started to notice, if I may say so, some rather superior (egg white) cervical mucus!   I felt sure my insemination would be very soon.

My RE's office is the only one I have heard of that judges ovulation based on progesterone levels (Having spoken to three other doctors from different clinics I understand that this is indeed an unusual method).  It may be a good way to judge ovulation, but for me, I have noticed that I ovulate sooner (and at a lower progesterone level) than I was expected to, and then my progesterone rises faster.

I was sure that my insemination would be Thurs when I was told Wed of my follicle at 25 (would this be mili or trili centimeters?).  After having my blood work done I bustled off to work,  thinking I was waiting for the call back to inseminate. Sitting in my chair at 903 - I felt myself ovulate - an intense throbbing pain - followed by complete relief and nothingness - on the side of my super special egg!

A few hours later the nurse called to tell me there would be no insemination today just an ovadril injection.   I told her that I had already ovulated.  She said simply "the Doc wants you to come in tomorrow."

Although my nurse is very nice - I want to say Smiley - she is very difficult to talk to when I say or ask anything unusual or unexpected.  Often she will just repeat whatever she said before - even if it makes no sense.  I realized that there would be no changing the date of my insemination - It is impossible for me to even speak to or have any meaningful conversation with my Dr. Uncommunicative - and she has obviously well chosen nurses that suit her style.

Of course all of this happened at a time at which I was in the midst of a very stressful project at work - that I had to be present for.  At the first possible moment - having formulated my PLAN, I went running over to the Infertility (or is it a Fertility?) clinic to find the head of lab.

I am afraid I was in such a rush, I did not even have time to call ahead (the garage at work doesn't have cell phone reception - and there is no privacy at my work).  I explained about my (very convenient) anxiety disorder (which is self diagnosed of course) and told her how worried I was that I might have ovulated, and how in order to ease my concern, I would like to have the vial of ICI which they have for precisely this reason  - to help ease my stress levels!

To my surprise she gave it to me.  I rushed home and self inseminated.  (She did look a little thoughtful when I told her of my follicle at 25 - and that they still wanted to wait!).  All I can say is that for anyone who has not done at home insemination (which I have not) - there is hardly ANY stuff / sperm at all. You could easily lose the vial, or drop it.  Hope I got it in the right place.  The good news is that I didn't try to eat it! - got the right orifice anyway. The dog did give it a good sniff and he got to lick the empty vial.  I want him to know where the baby comes from - hopefully he will recognize the scent!

Then I did a little standing on my shoulders - and kept legs elevated - Oh yes and I did the obligatory Big O.  Now I have seen a lot of reasons stated in the literature for doing this both before and after - like it changes your chemistry - or whatever.  But I was in too much of a rush to do any O before.  I knew that I was already running late. The egg may only live 6 hours - but can go as long as 24 ( usually 12, I think).  Anyway the little swimmers take quite some time 6-7 hours to get to their destination - so I was just on the edge of being out of time.

But now I will tell you the three most important reasons for doing the Big Orgxxx.   Firstly (and least importantly) it relaxes the mind.  Secondly (and most importantly) it brings heat, energy and blood to the area - And this opens places that need swimmers and closes off other openings - so nothing / less falls out! Thirdly (and most conveniently) it makes it much easier to fall asleep on your back in an awkward position (for four hours - to give the swimmers the best chance).  I decided to be on the floor with feet against the wall / bed  

Of course I said a few prayers for the spermies - and my eggs - and gave thanks to my Donor -and bargained with God a little.  "If you God give me a baby.... then I will......   forgive you for not finding me a handsome hubby!" OK so then, I decided that as impatient as I am I want two good eggs  and two children - and twins would be just fine.  So I thought it would be fair to have Two Big Os - one for each child.  Then just to be sure,  I had a third!

Being somewhat of the impatient type (and being very hungry because in all the panic I had forgotten to eat lunch)  I bailed at two hours. I placed a cervical cup over the cervix - hoping to retain few million sperm - and beetled back to work!  What was most difficult, was wanting to tell people what I had been doing all afternoon.  Thankfully  I managed to act like an adult and Not say a Word except "a somewhat  unusual and stressful afternoon".