Monday, November 28, 2011


***Pregnancy Discussed***

Today I am 6weeks 3days (6w3d).  I passed another milestone yet it doesn't seem real.  I had my first ultrasound this afternoon and I'm happy to report that there is ONE baby growing in my tummy and it has a heartbeat (doctor estimated it started beating in the last day or so, said it was about 115bpm)!!!

I was extremely relieved but I still don't really believe it.  Now that the babe has been visually confirmed, I need to work on accepting that I'm actually pregnant.  My symptoms are so mild, which I know I should be so thankful about, that I worry... while in my head I know that I'm doubly blessed to be pregnant AND have mild symptoms (other than the major gas incident of Thanksgiving... lesson learned... don't drink a whole bottle of sparkling ANYTHING while pregnant).

In the last year I've transferred 10 embryos over a total of three (fresh) ET's and finally one stuck around.  It's hard to believe we finally found my ONE GOOD EGG!

But I'll work on it.

As I continue to cheer on my infertile sisters... because if it can work for me...

Mom emailed this to me today.  So true.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Beta #3

*pregnancy discussed*

It took nearly 11 hours to get the results of my bloodwork this morning!  I can't complain since I wasn't even supposed to have my HCG checked, the purpose of the draw was to check my estradiol and progesterone levels.  But every hour after 3pm I got a little more anxious.

Beta#3 is 2561.  I was hoping for something above 3300 so I was a little concerned with the number.  My nurse told me the number is good.  When I questioned her about doubling she assured me the number is good and that after a period of time the HCG doubling time slows.

I consulted Dr. and he confirmed that the number is good.  The doubling time is fine as long as it doubles within 72 hours (mine doubled in 52 hours).

My nurse told me that next week at my ultrasound that we should see a sac, fetal pole and heartbeat.  Oh, I hope and pray we do!

I continue in my cautiously happy state-of-mind.  I met up with some of the other local SMC girls this weekend and it was so nice to finally be able to be pregnant... moving beyond the long, difficult TTC stage.  It made it feel a little more real.

This morning at my blood draw, when no other patients were in the lab, I whispered to my phlebotomist who has drawn my blood dozens upon dozens of times "I'm finally pregnant".  She was so excited and started to tear up... which made me start to tear up.

My local IVF nurse walked by when I was in the RE office today.  She stopped, did a double take and said "I'm so excited for you".  And she really meant it!

I also got a call from my CC.RM doctor tonight (he said he was out last week).  He congratulated me on my success.

All of these moments add up and continue to make it a little more real for me.

Thanks to each of you who commented on my 11.11.11 post about my BFP!  I know that you are happy to see me reach this milestone... even as I'm trying to accept it as real.

And for my IF friends still in the trenches, you have my absolute support.  I have truly found a cause that I will continue to carry with me and support.  I will do my best to be respectful of the IF community as I move into the next stage of "pregnant after infertility".

Don't forget to take a minute to enter my first Giveaway for a POM Charm of your choice!  Help spread the word about this great symbol of strength, hope and support for the infertility community.  You don't have to be infertile to participate; my goal is to spread the word and each person who reblogs my post will be helping to spread the word!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

POM Charms (My First Giveaway!)

In the world of infertility, often (far too often) we feel isolated and alone.

Two women were recently discussing this problem and wondering out loud how someone might take a step to better unite the world of infertility?  They decided that the community needed a symbol, something that says I get it.  A symbol may allow another woman to feel less alone and possibly start a conversation.

Quickly, they got to work and came up with the perfect symbol.

By combining the Pomegranate, the fruit of fertility, and the Chinese symbol for strength, the Pomegranate Charm was born.

They developed a mission:

Uniting women and their friends & families
who have struggled with fertility issues by giving
them a symbol of
strength, hope, and support.        

And then they formed a non-profit benefiting two infertility related causes.  There is minimal overhead and all proceeds from the purchase of a charm, a bracelet, a necklace, a key chain, etc. go towards one of the following causes:

  1. Fertility Research
  2. Deserving women and couples needing financial assistance to receive medical treatment

The charms just became available for distribution less than a month ago.  They have already caught on quickly in the areas where they have been introduced with large orders from fertility clinics, acupuncturists and other fertility related specialists, and of course members of the infertility community as well.

The Giveaway!  A Pomegranate Charm of your choice.

Entry Rules:

  1. Reblog this full post, including entry rules (please be sure that the links do not break when you copy/paste to your blog)
  2. Leave a comment on my original post ( dated 11/20/11) along with the link to your post.
  3. On Sunday, December 4 I will draw a winner from all completed entries.

I will announce and contact the winner and ask them to pick out the POM Charm of their choice and I will have it shipped to them.

In the meantime, check out the website for more information.  Buy one for yourself, your spouse/partner and give one to a friend who you know is suffering with infertility.  Tell your infertility support groups about the POM Charms!

By writing this post and structuring this giveaway, I am trying to do my part to spread the word across my little corner of the IF world.  I was not asked or paid to write this post.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I'm a liar. It was a lie to protect myself in this cruel world of infertility.  It was a lie in my own best interest.  I hope those to whom I told the lie will understand and forgive me.  It's the first blatant lie I've told in the entire time I've been TTC.

I told many, who knew I was going to CC.RM for my last cycle, that I was not doing a transfer at this time.  Most patients of CC.RM opt for CCS (genetic) testing of the embryos which requires that they are frozen and a FET is done at a later time, after the results are complete.

But the truth is that because my ODWU AFC was so low (5) the chances that I'd have blasts to test was so low that I didn't sign up for the CCS testing (you have to sign up before the cycle starts)... and it's expensive!  And it's the same price regardless of the number of embryos you have to test!  My logic, as discussed with the doctor, was that I'd probably end up transferring however many embryos as I'm lucky enough to have available to transfer, and probably on Day 3 (CCS requires embryos make it to blast).  

When my cycle turned around and ended up being so good, I seriously regretted that I had not signed up for CCS testing.  I think I'm one of the very few who go to CC.RM and do not do the testing!

1 9-cell and 2 8-cell "perfect" embryos
On Day 3, the embryologist and Dr. Surry said I had 3 perfect embryos that were standing out (and three more that were just a step behind them) so he recommended that I go ahead with a fresh D3 transfer.  So on Halloween day, I had 1 9-cell and 2 8-cell "perfect" embryos transferred to my 11mm 3-stripe lining. I had marvelous acupuncture before & after the transfer, it was a really great transfer experience!

My Special Transfer Slippers!
On Wednesday, November 2 I was finally able to travel home after 15 days in Colorado.  The doctor tells his patients to use wheelchair/cart assistance at the airport.  THAT, my friends, was quite an experience for a healthy, independent - I can do it, I don't need help -  kind of person.  But, as much as I had to swallow my pride in the wheelchair/cart, I am glad I did it.  Denver is a huge airport!!  I also had to ask for help from random strangers on the plane to lift/remove my carry-on from overhead storage, as we're told not to lift more than 10lbs during the 2ww.  If it means a chance for success, I'll swallow my pride!!

Not even a week into the 2ww I felt my usual lower back period cramping.  I've been on so much progesterone and estrogen support that there was no way AF would actually show up before my beta.  I've had no symptoms, just the period cramps which really crushed me.  I was so crushed that I did not POAS AT ALL  and if you've been reading for any length of time you know I'm a POAS addict.

First, I didn't want to POAS until after work Thursday because I needed to be able to try to concentrate.  I collected my FMU on both Wednesday & Thursday but I didn't dip a stick.  I decided I needed to wait until after my blood draw and if I had a confirmed BFN on HPT I'd be sad a blubbering mess when I went in to my local RE for beta, so I would POAS AFTER my blood draw.  But that morning I decided that I made it this far without POAS, I could wait until after I got the results from the nurse.  I wanted to delay the crushing pain of another BFN (after such a great cycle) as long as possible...

My beta on Friday was 70!  I was truly stunned.  I was certain it was another BFN... that's all I know is BFN.  Did they mix up my blood with someone elses?  I spent the rest of the day in a haze.  I went to Target but ended up just wandering without purpose unable to focus for a minute on my list of things I needed to get.... except for a digital HPT!
11dp3dt - 11/11/11   Beta: 70
HPT taken AFTER Beta results provided
Saturday was full of cautious happiness.  I found myself smiling and fully interacting with people more than I have in quite a while.  It was the best day I've had in a long time!

Sunday I was a nervous wreck waiting on results from the 2nd Beta.  I was paralyzed, unable to leave the house, or do much more than sit on the couch. The second beta was at 13dp3dt was 201, just 9 points shy of tripling!  The nurse said no more betas are necessary. My first ultrasound is 11/28, I'll be 6w3d and should be able to see the heartbeat (God Willing).

I later dipped HPTs in the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday FMU collections that I kept by my toilet (collecting urine: desperate measures of a woman in the 2ww).  After looking at the results, I will tell you that I would have driven myself insane analyzing the faint lines on the cheap sticks... AND these are the sticks that are supposed to read HCG as low as 10ml.  Even the stick from my beta day was super faint.  I'm glad that I waited, for a change.

Today, I asked begged my nurse to add another HCG order for me next week.  I have to have my estradiol and progesterone checked on Monday anyway.  I told her that my sanity and ability to sleep were at risk!  She relented so I am having a third beta on the 21st!

So here I am... happy to report to my wonderful blog friends who have been such an amazing support through 10 ART cycles, that I'm a little bit pregnant!  I'm cautiously happy... which is much happier than I've been in far too long!!

I've got my CC.RM miracle and if everything goes just right, there will be a healthy baby in my arms come July 2012!!!

**For my IRL friends who are reading, it's SUPER-EARLY... mum's the word.  Thanks!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Broken Record - The Remix

I've been feeling like my blog has become a broken record (and just imagine that there are younger generations in the world who will never really understand this analogy).  It has turned in to a ongoing loop about [insert needle scratching across the record sound]:

  • Summary of upcoming protocol
  • Cycle is starting
  • Cycle updates
  • Egg Retrieval/Transfer updates
  • 2ww agony
  • Crushing BFN
  • WTF Appointment
  • Repeat
It's not what I imagined for my blog, it's not what I imagined for my life.  This is what led to my silence over the last few months.  

Now, I'm feeling ready to update you on recent happenings (it's a similar story in a different location).

After my regroup with Dr. Sur.ry at CC.RM, when I learned I had a 25% chance of success with my own eggs, I contacted the Donor Egg Coordinator at my local clinic and told her to move forward with matching me with a donor.  I felt ready to move on to something that would give me my best chance of success... 

But I still kept thinking about CC.RM.  An unofficial message board for CC.RM patients that I was part of had just had numerous BFP's within the span of a week, it was inspiring!  There were so many BFP's I couldn't keep track of everyone!  And so I realized that if I didn't do a cycle at CC.RM that I would always wonder what would have happened.

My cycle started on October 13, I started stimming on Day 2 (10/14).  My AFC was 8 (this is pretty good for me, right in my normal range).  On October 18, I flew to Denver to settle in to my new home-away-from-home.  I had daily labs & ultrasounds.  Initially, my follicles were not growing well.  The doctor (and nurse) were concerned, we all feared my cycle would end up cancelled.  Dr. Sur.ry tweaked my protocol and my ovaries woke up!

While I hated to be away from my dogs for so long, I really enjoyed being in Colorado!  There were a lot of women from the message board and a few I knew through blogs that were there during the same time I was.  Our hotel was like living in a dormitory for infertility!  We'd run into each other in the lobby or parking lots, we would have lunch or dinner together, and when we got stir-crazy we'd hang out in someone's room.  We talked and talked and talked!  We all had so much in common with our infertility struggles and desire for our families!

It was so nice to be able to connect with so many women going through the same struggles - IN PERSON!  I admire all of the women that I've "met" through this journey... the opportunity to meet in the flesh is simply a bonus!

My mom flew out and joined me toward the end of my stay.  We were able to explore the area together and she was there for my retrieval!  It was nice to have her with me.

I had my retrieval on 10/28 (it was a LONG cycle). 8 eggs were retrieved, 8 eggs were mature, 8 eggs fertilized!!!  For the first time in a long time, I was filled with HOPE!