I wasn’t going to pee but for some reason on my way home from work yesterday I felt the need to pee on the stick. I had a very stressful day at work, it’s tax season… need I say more, and I really needed to get this whole waiting thing out of my system. It’s like I wanted one less thing to think about during my days as if the results would have helped with that. Well, it was negative. 7dp3dt. I was hoping that it was because it was late in the day and I was overly hydrated and that it was too soon so instead of going back to my plan of just waiting for the beta, I peed again this morning. Still negative. As terrible as it sounds and as hopeful as I want to be, I feel like my body just isn’t work right. I have been having some slight cramping today but that tells us nothing. Now I will wait. No more peeing. For those of you that have been through this, you can figure out with my beta will be but I have chosen not to tell anyone that is aware of this journey when it is. I want to be able to let people know the good news or the bad news on my own terms. I doubt I will be able to keep it to myself for very long though. I am trying to rally the hope but my heart hurts.
I have no symptoms. None. I had a few days of headache and achy early around day 2-3 of stims. Other than that, nothing. I have nothing to Google except “no symptoms”. I guess I am glad that from a physical standpoint, rational standpoint I have been symptom free. My mood has been stable however the absence of anything is starting to challenge that stability. The anxiety rises a little each day it seems. I am trying to decide if I want to POAS or not but I think I am too afraid to actually do it. It’s too early for that anyway I think.
On another note: I have 9 bosses. 8 men, 1 woman (not married, no kids). One male partner, who I had to disclose my situation to, came to me the other day and said “the partner rumor mill is buzzing about if you might be pregnant or trying to get pregnant because you didn’t drink at such and such event so I told them you were trying.” WTF. Has anyone ever heard of minding their own effing business?! I can’t even tell you the range of emotions this makes me feel. First, no one likes to find out that they are being talked about. Second, now the clock is ticking for me to get pregnant before a whole slew of other people know “there’s a problem”. Third, I felt like I was in trouble for not drinking at an event. Like I brought this on myself. I am sure there’s a fourth and fifth and sixth but I am too annoyed to think of them. Stay out of my bedroom er, laboratory!!! I have to see these people every day. Seriously if anyone brings it up I am going to say stuff like “we are, that reminds me, I think I’ll be on top tonight”. That’ll shut their faces up. No one is going to say anything but if they did… ARGH!
We ended up doing a day 3 transfer yesterday. My doctor called me on Monday morning to let me know that our 5 embryos were still doing well and that 3 were ‘Superior’ and 2 were ‘Average’. As a result, he wanted to talk about my thoughts on transferring all three superior embryos on day 3. I hate these kinds of phone calls. Not because of what he was telling me because it was all great news but I cannot process this type of thing. I didn’t know the doctor would call and ask me what I was thinking when I HADN’T BEEN THINKING! I hate being unprepared. Anyway, we chatted a bit about triplets and if he would recommend reduction if all three were viable. He said no so then I started thinking about my life with triplets and about fell off my chair. Why my brain still jumps ahead that far, after all we’ve been through, is baffling. I asked what he would do. This is my usual line of questioning and then I usually say “dum da dum, o.k.” and then think about it and change my mind later. I love my doctor for what he said because I feel like it was a totally honest answer. He said “well, I would do all three because I’m a pessimist and wouldn’t think all three will work out.” I think I’m a bit of a pessimist too but all three might work and that sounded like too much for me. We got off the phone deciding we’d do a day 3 transfer and figure out the transfer number then.
We arrived for the transfer right on time cause that’s what I do (my husband was a few minutes behind me). I had a nice full bladder and everything. So nice that the nurse complimented me for following directions. Who the heck doesn’t follow the directions?!?! We met with the Doc who told us that we still had 3 very good embryos but that there was some minor fragmentation. We also had a 4th average one and the 5th was deteriorating. The question was whether or not to do 2 or 4. The Doc indicated that there are studies that show higher pregnancy rates when transferring smaller numbers of embryos more times. There are studies for everything and in this case, this was just the stat we needed to know to confirm my gut feeling that said ONLY TWO. My husband and I had talked at length about our comfort level so it was a no brainer day of. We will freeze the other two. The Doc said that there’s a higher risk for the average embryo to not survive the thaw, when we get there, but we felt it was worth the risk.
Into the transfer room we went! Again my husband with awkward laughing…. the doctor said he needed to “wash my cervix” so he basically squirted a bunch of water up in there and the squirter made a funny noise so my husband started giggling a little bit which makes me laugh. Honestly, don’t be such a 12 year old! Haha! The whole process of infertility treatments is just so far outside normalcy. Seriously. Wash my cervix?!? As I lay there with 3 people having a looky loo at my privates. No decency anymore. Overall the transfer went great. Slight discomfort but hardly even worth noting. I laid there for a little while and then off we went. I came home and laid on the couch and listened to the Circle + Bloom Transfer program and…. yep, you guessed it… fell asleep. It was a very relaxing nap so I think that means it worked. I went to acupuncture later in the afternoon which was also quite relaxing.
So here we are… 2 embryos! I feel a little crampy today. More than I would like but I am trying to just relax. The body goes through a lot during this process. I took yesterday off and am working from home today (obviously I am working super hard considering the timing of this post… guilty!). I am only planning on getting a couple of things done and the retreating to the couch to watch some movies. Yesterday I watched some movie from 1992 with Michelle Pfeiffer and the All State guy. It was good and no I don’t know the name. I also watched Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring Brandy. I LOVED that movie and Brandy for the entirety of my Junior year of high school. I am a sucker for musicals.
I am not all worried about the wait for the pregnancy test. Right now, I feel like I kind of don’t want it to come. I don’t want to know if this fails. I am optimistic now. Too optimistic probably. I love that we got a picture of the embryos but that’s the connection. They are real. My babies. Please, babies, snuggle in for a long time… if you need a timeline, lets go with 38 weeks. While many of you will be wishing for time to speed up, I will be wishing for it to slow down. Keep my babies with me while I can.
Thursday night was the night of the big trigger shot and it went off without a hitch. I expected nothing less. My husband is a regular injection pro at this point so I wasn’t worried about this. My skin only reacted a little bit to the shot which was nice since my belly had just started to clear up from the Menopur shots. Boy am I glad we switched those to intramuscular because I am not sure I could have made it 13 days. All day Friday I felt a little crampy which I thought was weird but tried not to get too worked up about. Turns out it was nothing.
Retrieval day went fine. We went in at 10 and were back in the car on the way home at 12:30. I had no adverse reactions to the drugs. I ended up taking a pain pill before leaving the clinic and another half of one an hour later but that’s it for pain meds. I really don’t like the doped up feeling so I decided to go for a little pain that I could mostly treat with Tylenol vs feeling foggy. Yesterday I felt really sore and today I am less sore but it’s still there. Overall, it could have been worse and I am thankful it wasn’t!
The numbers: 8 eggs were retrieved, 6 were mature enough to fertilize and 5 fertilized. These are good numbers considering what we were expecting early last week.
The plan: we will find out today how the embryos are developing and which day we will transfer. My doctor is leaning towards a 5 day transfer so that we get the best of the best. My husband and I have elected not to do selective reduction and as a result my doctor will not transfer any more than 3 embryos and really only wants to transfer 1 or 2 and hence leaning toward the 5 day transfer. There is some research that says “get those embryos back in the body ASAP” and some that says it doesn’t matter. While I completely appreciate and understand the logic behind waiting to transfer until day 5 part of me is so anxious to get those little guys back in and see what I can do. The point, however, is that if they don’t make it to day 5 in the lab, they likely won’t make it to day 5 in my uterus and even then there’s no guarantee. There’s never any guarantee.
I am doing, on the whole, fine. I have been relatively calm through this whole experience and only now am I really starting to get anxious and I know that this will not subside once the transfer is complete assuming we have something to transfer. Back to day by day. That’s been my motto so far. Don’t think too far ahead because when the course changes, there’s a lot to change. I am glad I meet with my therapist today. She has been such an amazing help to me through all of this. She went through two failed IVF cycles at the clinic I go to and then ended up with a successful IVF cycle with a clinic in LA. Our small town guy can treat mainstream infertility and IVF but any outliers are outside the scope of what a one man shop with a small lab can do. Needless to say, she’s been here. She knows what I am going through.
Now we wait. We will know more this afternoon and even more tomorrow. Fingers crossed. Deep breathing (but not too deep because ouch!). I so hope this works.
We are on day 11 of stims. So far I haven’t felt too bad physically. I have had a few headaches over the past couple of days and have been unusually tired. The latter could be lack of caffeine as well. I guess the former could as well. Anyway, we had another monitoring appointment today and the doctor feels that we are ready to go for a Saturday retrieval. He believes there are 8 follicles that have the highest likelihood of having a mature egg. He indicated that there were 2 smaller follicles as well but did not believe they would catch up. We started with 10, moved up to 12, down to 6, up to 7 and now up to 8. WTF?! My estradiol is still on the low end at 499 but not too low so that’s good. That said, we will be triggering tonight at 11pm so that we are ready to go Saturday morning. Yippee! I think I am most excited about tomorrow being shot free! One day with no pokes. The pokes begin again on Monday or Tuesday with the Progesterone in oil. Tomorrow (and the rest of today), I need to focus on managing my expectations. This is not to say that I am not excited, because I am, but I just need to focus on Saturday only and not jump too far ahead with the “if this, than that” scenarios. Take care of my body and prepare it for retrieval. Nothing more, nothing less.
We went to the doctor this morning and there are 7 follicles (Miss righty decided to show off a second follicle) that are between 10 and 15mm. At this point, there are too many to proceed with IUI because we are not interested in selective reduction. There are, however, just enough to where the doctor feels better about continuing with the IVF. While there is a financial implication in going forward with the IVF vs. IUI, the outcome provides more diagnostic results (and higher success rates) should the cycle ultimately fail and for me that’s really important. My estradiol was at 291 which still isn’t great but it is moving in the right direction. Tonight we will add Ganirelix to the mix so we can try and get some of the smaller follicles up to size. Monitor on Thursday and then if all goes as planned (ha, what plan?) the retrieval will be on Saturday. Right now we are thinking positive and moving in the right direction.
Thanks for all of your lovely comments over the last few days. It’s more encouraging and helpful then I ever thought it would be. 🙂
Estradiol was shitty. 183, it should have been at least 50 per follicle so 300. My doc said to continue drug protocol because he’s not worried about multiple gestation if we end up converting to IUI. I suspect that is because my estradiol can’t sustain 6 follicles getting to maturity. To me the IUI seems inevitable. I know we aren’t done with this cycle yet but I feel defeated. From a global perspective, this isn’t good news. I don’t know what it means on a go-forward basis should this cycle fail. I will know more Tuesday I guess. It just sucks, it really sucks and I am disappointed and sad and yes, it’s premature but I can’t help it. The false hope that creeps in with new treatments sucker punched me. My body sucks and I want to punch it really, really hard.