Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Brand New Normal

I'm surrounded by all these people just going about their normal lives.

Something miraculous has happened and all these people don't know! And I can't tell them! They're just living their regular lives like nothing has changed. For that matter, I'm kind of just living my regular life as if nothing has changed: recycling, clean the bathroom, do laundry, make lunch.

But it has changed! It's all changed. Something fundamental has shifted....okay perhaps not for the world at large, but for me. It is small but it's dramatic. I'm walking around with this thrilled energy inside of me that makes my skin tingle and my heart leap whenever I think about it. It makes me want to randomly tell anyone around me, "I'm pregnant!"

My sister screamed when I called her with the news. I haven't screamed yet. It might be screaming time.

Whoo that felt good. :)

Today's blood test showed the HCG number more than doubled to 733. Can't stop smiling.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hope Fulfilled

I'm so happy to be wrong, never been so happy to be wrong.

We are pregnant!!!! It's unbelievable. It's miraculous. I am amazed and humbled and shocked and incredibly happy.

All I can do is thank God over and over. Thank Him for this amazing hope that is both fulfilled and reborn. Thank Him for all the loving family and friends whose support and prayers have meant so much to us through all the steps to this point. I am in awe of how many people want this for us, want us to have our dream.....

In awe and humbled and grateful.

Thank you.

So here are all the little details in case you're interested:

The clinic nurse called me at work this morning and I didn't have a chance to think of asking for her to wait, I just held my breath as she quickly asked if I took a home pregnancy test this morning.

I said, "No," my heart starting to pound, not really understanding why she'd ask the question.

She immediately responded, "Well you should have because you're pregnant, very nicely pregnant at that."

All I could say was "Wow" as my breath rushed out of me.

My male colleagues around me were typing away in their cubicles and all I wanted to do was cry and all I could do was try to keep breathing it was so incredibly unbelievable.

Although I imagined yelling the news from the rooftops, I somehow managed kept the news all to myself for 4 hours! For 4 hours, I worked (or tried to), stopped by the clinic with some questions and to get more progesterone and then I came home and plotted how I would tell Andrew. Because hey! this is a moment I've dreamed of for years.

I know we have a long way to go from here but today I am relieved and grateful and so happy. And for those of you who like numbers, the numbers from the blood test were 317. :) Next test is on Saturday.

Roar!!!! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Longest Wait

This is so hard. I'm pretty convinced my period is starting and yet I'm trying to force myself to still hope.

This feels exactly like every other month, the spotting starts like clockwork, the cramping starts to ramp up. But until Thursday I need to assume that I'm pregnant, eat well, take all my meds, drink the disgusting Gatorade, keep getting my shots even though my gluts are now screaming.

I waffle throughout the day between looking at all the possible good signs and looking at all the possible negative signs. And there is no way to know, you know, but I'm pretty sure I know....and it sucks.

In other news, my India travel visa will likely arrive this week or early next. There is a possibility of me going the second week of March and another possibility at the end of April but I'm not planning for anything....India kind of seems like a booby prize.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trying to chillax

It's funny how last week when most things were in the hands of the medical experts I was very calm, and yet now I have these surges of anxiety that take me by surprise. Maybe it's because we're on our own to wait this out.... no appointments, no check ins, just take my meds and show up for the test next Thursday.

7 more sleeps. I'm not sure if it's best to look at it as 7 more days filled with hope or 7 more days of trial. If the test is positive, I'll be thrilled, over the moon. If it's negative, I'll be devastated.....and I've already got a game plan for that devastation that involves a great deal of currently contraband food.

OK I'm off to meditate and plan my very healthy food for tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Waiting Game

There was so much to write about and now..... not so much...

Really, what can I say? I sat on the couch for the weekend. We read, we watched movies. My husband made dinners... and lunches. :)

I'm back at work now and it's stressful. The more stressed I feel the more I think, "This isn't good for me, I need to relax," which stresses me out even more. I'm much more emotional these days....I think it's the drugs.

Luckily, I know just enough to recognize the underlying feeling so I don't freak out at Andrew blaming him for everything under the sun... as long as I have a few minutes alone to assess. I mean really, if yesterday the carpet was fine and today it is utterly, unreasonably disgusting, perhaps it is me that has changed, not the carpet.

Nevertheless, I can still say, "Hey I'm unreasonably hormonal, can you vacuum to make me feel better?" And the blessed man actually does. How did I get so lucky?

Anyway, I'm still feeling very positive and hopeful. 9 more sleeps till the blood test.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Transfer

Well, that was remarkably easy after such a long wait and preparation period!

The transfer went very smoothly, no pain, very simple. And now we settle in for the long wait and continue with my many medications.

I'll spend today and tomorrow on the couch watching movies and reading. And then it's back to work ...although I'm still to spend nights on the couch relaxing.

We'll know in 12 days if the little ones made it.

Given that we only had four (all four remained very high quality to today) the doctor recommended transferring 2 embryos and we even got to see a picture of them (from a picture they can take through a microscope I supposed.) I got quite teary during the process. It means so much to me and I'm so hopeful and grateful for living in a time where this kind of assistance is possible.

The doctor did verify that what he's seen through this process supports his belief that I have low ovarian reserve. However, given the quality of the embryos, he's very optimistic of our chances of conceiving, if not now through IVF, then at some point. This makes me very hopeful.

And so we keep on praying.... and relaxing. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

4 for 6

Of our six fertilized eggs, four developed into embryos! Four potential lives, four little ones to love.

The clinic looks for quality at this stage even though the little embryos are only between 2 and 4 cells. They grade the quality between 0 and 20. A grade of 20 is excellent and is rare as the clinic is quite picky about their standards. 18 -19 is high quality and 15 - 17 is average quality.

Given that we have concerns about the quality of my eggs these grades mean quite a lot to me. So you can imagine my huge relief and excitement when I heard we have one 4 cell embryo that is a 20! One 4 cell that is a 19! A 2 cell and a 3 cell that are both 18!

I feel quite overwhelmed with gratitude and I just keep praying that God has His hand in this process. Tomorrow morning is the transfer.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Good News on Day 1

The clinic called today. Six of the seven eggs fertilized naturally overnight! This is fantastic news. They like each other! They really, really like each other!!

The clinic puts them away overnight in an incubator and will look at them again tomorrow to see if they've developed into embryos. So, we'll know more about quality tomorrow. Fingers remain crossed. Lots of prayers appreciated.

I'm doing much better today as far as tummy discomfort. The worst part of this is that I've developed a nasty head cold - sneezing and coughing is very difficult/painful with a sore tummy. I think being under the influence of the drugs yesterday totally shut down my immune system and the cold I've been fighting off for a few weeks took over.

I'm such a total lightweight when it comes to drugs. I only have a few memories of the retrieval yesterday. I asked Andrew to walk me through it last night, tell me all about what happened. It's really like I wasn't there. I felt nothing.... or at least I don't remember feeling anything. All I remember is the embryologist saying something positive... the screen when the doctor once pointed out the needle going into a follicle...and then getting up and wobbling back to 'our' room to recuperate. And there I remained from about 9:10 until noon as I was so totally incapacitated I couldn't get up to leave without feeling ill. People checked in on me far too often for my liking. I slipped off to sleep within seconds of someone leaving me alone. Andrew actually left to get a snack at a cafe and came back later for me.

According to Andrew, though, I was conscious and responding (slow but responsive) to questions throughout the procedure. There were a number of times the group had a good laugh or two. Everything went very quickly and smoothly. Andrew held my hand .... I have no memories of any of this.

So I'm working from home today and tomorrow (a bit) but also resting and recupperating for the transfer on Saturday. I hope to take care of this headcold asap.

Praying for embryos.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

7 for 7

Seven follicles yielded seven eggs!

That's amazing news.

We'll know more tomorrow about the fertility of those eggs.

I'm slowly sleeping off the drugs. Very slowly. :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Trigger Point

My blood test this morning looked good! YAY!

We've been given the GO for the next medication. This means that Wednesday morning is the retrieval and, if all looks good, either Saturday or Monday will be the transfer. I am so excited!

I also found out this morning that I'll have to stay on Gatorade until we do the pregnancy test. That's about 3 weeks away. Going from drinking multiple litres of water a day to drinking 1 single litre of Gatorade is difficult.

Yesterday I wondered if I would go crazy with thirst and I experienced quite a bit of 'irritability,' which my husband can attest to. However, today was significantly easier and I anticipate it won't be an issue after another day or two.

Prayers requested.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Circle of Influence

I'm really glad I handed all this fertility and where-to-live-our-lives business over to God. Because if I were still trying to keep a handle on it, I'd be a mess right now. Instead I'm taking it in stride and only focussing on my small circle of influence.

Ultrasound this morning still showed 7 good sized follicles. However, yesterday's bloodwork showed an increase in my estrogen. (The Dr reduced one of my meds in response.) Today's bloodwork showed it is still high and the ultrasound showed a build up of fluid in my abdomen. This is the beginnings of OHSS, which usually happens (if it's going to happen) after retrieval. OHSS is potentially dangerous but with careful supervision it is unlikely it will develop into something serious. More info is here if you really want it.

It's actually dangerous to 'trigger' the eggs to release (they release from the side of the follicle to the middle) when the estrogen levels are this high. So, I'm off of all medications for tonight and I get another blood test tomorrow and I need to restrict my fluid intake to only a single litre of gatorade for the day.

I don't know what happens if the estrogen levels don't come down. It's wait and see and leave it up to God and the medical professionals. I will not worry about this.

Another piece of information from this morning's apt: if this cycle does result in a pregnancy, I can't go to India in March. The first few weeks after IVF are pretty tenuous and the Dr wouldn't want me to be away from good medical attention if required.

So there you have it. I don't know if, or when, we'll be able to complete this IVF cycle. I don't know if my eggs are good or not. I don't know if I'm going to India in March or long term.

All I know is that today I drink tiny sips of gatorade instead of my usual gallons of water, I eat protein, I don't take any meds and I hope my estrogen levels fall back to normal. I'm going to have a lovely nap and later I'll have a nice hot bath. Everything else will happen as it is meant to.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Go Follicles Go

I am not a sports fan. I do know that there is a big game thing going on tomorrow, some superbowl thing. I won't watch it as it doesn't interest me.

On the other hand, I am someone who likes to cheer. I like to get excited about things.... unfortunately there are no sports that I care about to cheer over. So the only time I get the opportunity is when I watch my husband play baseball or volleyball. :)

However, this weekend I am getting excited and I am cheering, not over sports but for my 7 follicles. This morning's ultrasound showed that they are progressing and we'll go in again tomorrow for another ultrasound. I hope we'll be 'retrieving' on Tuesday.

Go follicles! You can do it. You can make it happen. Roooooaarr!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Have Ovaries, Will Travel

Just when I think things are quiet and nothing is going to happen for a while, things happen.

Tonight Andrew told me his company has given the OK for me to go to India for a week....like sooner rather than later!

Now, I thought my trip to India would be in the last stages of negotiations, after we'd had weeks or even months to mull over an offer. I thought the trip would be for me to look at houses and give the final OK on ....I dunno....stuff.

Instead, it seems like they're happy to have me go anytime just to see if I could imagine living there. I guess it would make sense to visit before we go through the hoops of negotiations, because hey, if I wind up saying, "Whoa, no way can I do this!", then what's the point in going through negotiations?

So, that's it folks, I'm going to India the second week of March. Amazing! And if I'm ill with morning sickness by then, then I'll count my blessings as I hurl across the sky. ;P

Equally amazing is the ultrasound I had yesterday. My ovaries are doing well. After 9 days of meds I have 7 follicles. Now I understand they generally hope for more like 10 - 16 follicles. But 7 is not bad. Hey, 7 is my lucky number! And in the end all we need is one.

Next ultrasound is on Saturday. I'll post after that. :)

Crazy exciting times!