Wednesday, December 23, 2009

7 Week Ultrasound

We have one Pea in the pod!!! We couldn't be any happier!! Our doctor said that everything looked "perfect!" We are officially due on August 11, 2010. The heartbeat was strong and it was the most precious little blob we've ever seen in our lives!!!!

This is truly the best Christmas present we have ever received!!! What a miracle!!! :)

Here's our Pea:

Monday, December 21, 2009

2 More days 'til Our 1st Ultrasound!!!

Finally!!! The week of our first ultrasound has arrived!!! It's been 18 LONG days since we first learned that IVF #2 worked and now our appointment is just two short days away!! This waiting has felt like an eternity. I am just so anxious to see our little miracle with my own eyes!!

For most of this wait I haven't been feeling very "pregnant." The only real symptom of note has been fatigue. (But who isn't tired during the winter when it's freezing cold outside and the days are the shortest of the year?) I did throw up one morning but I'm convinced that was because I took some vitamins on an fairly empty stomach which could make anyone sick. Since then I have had no real nausea to speak of. I have been hungrier, but that ALWAYS happened around the holidays!! I've mostly just felt like myself, which is what made me the most nervous.

I know in early pregnancy a lot of women really feel nothing, and its completely normal. I also know I should be grateful, and I am, for the lack of unpleasant symptoms. It's just a little unnerving to have very little physical reminders of this newly established pregnancy especially when I knew my sister to be VERY aware of her 3 pregnancies during the first trimester. She was sick daily practically the whole way through the first 12 weeks, so there was no doubt about whether she was still pregnant.

Me, on the other hand, not so much...which is great, but also fills my mind with question marks! I almost went out the other day to buy a home pregnancy test just to take it so I could see the confirmation, "yes you're still pregnant, Cilla!" Feeling like that might be going overboard, I opted not to.

Over the weekend, things started changing and I'm FINALLY starting to feel a little bit more "pregnant." It's my boobs that are giving it away!!! They are SO SORE, HUGE and very HEAVY! I'm normally a DDD size, so you can imagine what I'm dealing with now that they're even BIGGER! Yikes! Rolling over in bed has become a painful operation unless I'm very careful. I'm busting out of my bras and when I take them off at the end of the day it's like nothing I've ever felt before. I feel like gravity is working overtime on just those two parts of my body. Ouch!! It's wonderful!! It means that I really am pregnant and that my body's going through the changes I have been wanting so long for!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

6 Weeks Along

Ever since my 3rd beta test on Friday I've been feeling a little more at ease.
I'm sure that it may seem silly to some that I needed 3 blood draws and a positive home pregnancy test to help me believe that I am indeed pregnant, but, as my blog buddies know, infertility really changes you. It takes away innocence and adds a lot of fear. There is no way to change that reality, but I'm doing my best to at least be conscious of it so that I can try to calm myself whenever I get swirled up in fear and worry about the health of this pregnancy. After all, I have no control....I never have, but being so 'technically' involved somehow makes one think that they do.

I am still so early in my pregnancy that if it had been achieved naturally I may not have even contacted a doctor yet. Hell, if I didn't track my period so closely I may not even be aware that I'm even pregnant. But in my reality I have gone to the doctor over 10 times in the last month. I got daily reports of our embryos when they were in culture, and I even have a photo on the Fridge of the two they transferred back inside my uterus. Talk about a different conception experience!

Intervention and IVF?... I have fully accepted that this was our path. In addition, part of me feels special that I got to experience it this way. How many moms out there have a photo of their baby when he or she was only 5 days past conception? How many know the exact hour their child was conceived? Not many!! As much grief and hardship as this road has presented us with I feel confident in knowing that there isn't a single grain of doubt about how much we want this baby. If we had gotten pregnant when we first started trying and not gone through all this soul-searching pain I'm not sure we wouldn't have some fear and doubt about whether we were ready. But now, WE ARE, and it feels great to know that we're headed into this with such conviction.

I feel totally confident about my desire for motherhood, now I'm trying to find as much confidence to believe that this pregnancy will continue to move along with health and success. Like I said, infertility breeds fear and doubt in the natural process. We get stuck in thinking that we'll always be doomed, so its been a challenge to allow myself to find the innocence I once had before I knew so much. To be able to believe that this can work and that we won't be crushed, AGAIN.

It's odd. It seems like no matter how you conceive there is always going to be a certain amount of fear and worry. For those who conceive their first baby easily I imagine their worries would be more focused on the labor and delivery and their readiness to be a parent or maybe their worry about loosing their "child-free" self, but for those of us who have had a lot of trouble conceiving, these are really the least of concern. We are terrified the moment we are told we're pregnant because its something we thought we might never get and the thought of it being taken away is truly our worst nightmare. We KNOW we're ready to become parents and definitely wont miss the time of being "child-free." Getting to full term and going through labor and delivery will be the biggest gift ever no matter how much pain we'll have to endure. I can't say from experience because I've never given birth, but I imagine that there is no physical pain that can trump the emotional hurt of being infertile.

I'm not trying to say that infertiles are more enlightened than fertiles...I'm just trying to point out how different it can make a person's experience when it comes to pregnancy. We ALL have our fears, but the fears seem to be different based on our conception history.

I'm finally getting to the point where I can find my faith over fear...the 3rd beta definitely helped. I know that our first ultrasound will be huge confidence boost as well if it goes smoothly. I am SO EXCITED and anxious to hear the heartbeat that it's becoming very hard to be patient!!!

I've been trying to stay busy with holiday preparations!! Just 8 more days...I can do it!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Beta # 3 Results

My number is now 3575!!

For those of you who understand beta doubling here are my stats:

17dpo: 166
20dpo: 966 ...doubled every 28 hours since 1st beta.
24dpo: 3575 ...doubled every 51 hours since 2nd beta.

I am VERY pleased with these solid numbers and the nurse confirmed that we are doing just great. She really thinks that I have no reasons worry and that I should feel confident and enjoy the process. She was very sweet and I am completely going to follow her recommendations!! I am feeling more blessed now than ever. We are REALLY pregnant and things are doing very well!!! What a relief!! Thank God!!

One more thing...I read yesterday in a new book I bought called The Pregnancy Journal that by now our baby's heart has started beating....AMAZING!!! I cannot wait until our first ultrasound on Dec. 23rd so we can see it!!

What an amazing holiday season we're having. God is good!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm Getting a 3rd Beta!!

I decided that I couldn't wait until December 23rd to go back to my doctor to get confirmation that everything is still going ok, so I called today to see if there was any chance they would let me come in for a 3rd beta. I was told that they typically don't do a 3rd beta if the second one showed a solid doubling, but they're willing to do it if I really want. So I jumped at the chance and I'm going in first thing tomorrow morning!

I'm hoping that my numbers will be 2450 or above. If they are then it will mean that I've doubled at least every 70 hours which is just right.

Symptom Update:

YAAAAWWWWNNNNN!! I have been totally exhausted. I mean yawn every 5 minutes exhausted. Every where I've read tells you to expect it, so I'm happily yawning my way through week 5!

My sense of smell is out of this world too! For example, my dogs were eating their dinner about 10-12 feet away from where I sit to use my computer on the kitchen counter. This is where it's always been and they were eating in the same place I always feed them, but the other night our system had to be changed. I could vividly SMELL their GROSS DOG-FOOD-EATING-BREATH from where I was sitting and it was revolting to me!! HAHA! I even feed them dry Iams dog food so it’s not like it’s the wet smelly stuff. I can't believe how heightened my sense of smell has gotten!!

My appetite is down...for some reason NOTHING really appeals to me. Even so, I’ve been forcing myself to eat all the things I know I should, but eating hasn't been as satisfying or enjoyable as I usually find it. I'm sure this will pass.

Other than those few things I haven't noticed much else. My cramping has really diminished to almost nothing. I still have trouble believing that I'm actually pregnant. Well, besides the fact that I've not had my period in almost 6 weeks nor have I had any spotting. I just know that getting this third beta will help put my mind at ease if it comes back well.

I'll update as soon as I get the call from the lab tomorrow!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Beta # 2 Results

I want to start by saying THANK YOU to all my wonderful friends (blog world and real life) for your amazing words of excitement about our good news. I've heard/read comments like this:

"Best news ever!"
"What Wonderful News!"
"Yay! Yay! Yay!"
"OMG...Awesome news!!!"
And finally, the one exclamation that keeps ringing in my head and making me smile came from my Aunt who lives in Vermont: "FAR FUCKING OUT!!!" I love it...we totally feel that way!! :)

And today when I was at my doctor's office getting my blood drawn this morning I enthusiastically told the nurse where we were when we got the call from their office. I told her how excited we were and how funny it was that we were in public. Her response? Imagine the most valley-girl, stoner, monotone, uninterested voice ever, "Thaaaat's coooool." What is with these nurses? How can they be so unaware of the emotional state of their infertility patients? I mean I just learned that we are finally expecting after ALL that THEY have seen us go through....can't I at least get a smile?? Damn! It felt like the most fucked-up exchange ever. Like I had just told her that vanilla was my favorite flavor....ugh!

Whatever...Forget her!! I DID see my doctor in the hall and he gave me a BIG made my day to get such a warm response from him.

Beta # 2: (20dpo/15dp5dt) 966 (that's a doubling time of 28 hours!) We are feeling great about it!

My first ultrasound is scheduled for December appointments, no blood work or anything until then. It feels so strange! It's a relief to not have to be running to the doc every other day like before, but at the same time I have gotten very accustomed to being "checked" so it also feels a little scary. I'm sure everything will be fine...I just can't wait for the 23rd!!

Thoughts Over the Weekend...

Ben and I had a joyful weekend celebrating our news. My parents took us out to a fancy restaurant and we couldn't stop smiling...still haven't. It's been wonderful, but also very surreal and thought provoking.

We just keep saying to each other, "Can you believe it's actually true that we got a positive beta and we're really pregnant?" We're still trying to grasp it.

We also talked about how we feel like we're playing make-believe or something. We have been bogged down by infertility for so long that now when we say "we're pregnant" we feel like we're just fantasizing about the future (like we have for so many months) and that it's not really real right now.

For so long we metaphorically gritted our teeth and rolled our eyes at the easily impregnated fertiles out there and sometimes even the infertiles that left us in the dust. Now that we've just crossed over from "infertile" to "pregnant" its almost a sensation of being a traitor. It's a very bazaar feeling and I'm pretty sure I'm not doing a terribly good job of explaining it. Maybe you would have to have once be an infertile who eventually became pregnant to really get me. I don't know...

Part of me feels like I am now a resented "pregnant person" amongst the infertile community of friends that once made me feel so understood and not alone. I know how I felt when friends of mine joined the pregnant club and left me behind in miserable infertile land. It sucked a lot.

Now I am beyond thrilled to be on the other side of the line, but I am definitely aware of how my news might affect others who are still waiting to get their positive results. My heart is still with them because I remember how awful it feels. How strange to FINALLY be one of those "pregnant people" I have spent so many months snarling at.

I went in for my second beta test this morning...I will be updating with those results when I get the call later this afternoon.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 63 - The Results.

We're PREGNANT!!!!

The nurse called and since it wasn't my doctor's voice my knees almost buckled. Of all the places in the world, we were standing in the children's toy isle at Wal-Mart. Why you ask? Well, my docs office told us this morning that my results most likely wouldn't be in until close to 4PM so we decided that we HAD to find something to distract ourselves until then. Since Ben has taken the day off we decided to go Christmas shopping for our 5 nieces and nephews. I have been avoiding anything baby/child related for a long time now (for obvious reasons) and I knew if our results were bad it was going to be MUCH harder to accomplish this task.

So when my cell phone rang and I saw that it was my doctor's office I almost stopped breathing. I knew my reaction was going to be dramatic no matter what and I instantly regretting being in public. Oh well....SO, I answered and it was the nurse. "Oh no! I thought that my doc would call if it were good news." That's when she happily told me that she had good news!! I started freaking out...of course....and everyone around me must have thought I was crazy. Who cares! WE'RE FINALLY PREGNANT!!!

How totally ironic that we learned we are pregnant in the baby department!!!!!

We are still spinning with disbelief and joy! I was so prepared for disappointment today that I didn't even put any make-up on this morning because I was afraid I would be crying later and I didn't want to have raccoon face. Now with our fantastic news I'm crying anyway, so I guess no make-up was a good call!!

To think that after 30 months of negative pregnancy tests, multiple surgeries, a failed first IVF round, over a hundred needles, and thousands of tears and dollars we have finally gotten some good news!! Today is a GREAT day!!

I know that everyone tells you that you're not out of the woods until after the first three months and this I respect, but from our perspective we feel that it's all in Gods hands now and it's a lot easier to trust in the Lord than to trust in a doctor's practice. Though, thank God for our doctor.

I have faith in my body and I have faith in our little bean(s).

I can't believe that I have FINALLY seen two lines on a home pregnancy test for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE....maybe they're not bad luck after all.

My Beta level is 166 (normal for this stage is between 5 and 426) so we feel good about ours and so does our doc. I go back on Monday morning for another test to make sure the my levels are doubling. (More on this later for those who are interested.) Then I will have my first ultra-sound in two weeks to determine if one or two implanted. (I think it's only one.)

Thanks again to everyone out there who has given so much amazing support!!!!!!

Ps. For those of you who know me in 'real life' please keep this info to yourselves. Thanks so much and thanks again for all your love!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Day 62 - It All Comes Down To Tomorrow

I realize that blogging every day during my two week wait has brought forth almost no new news and my recent writing is most likely not very interesting. I will say, however, that having a place to focus my thoughts through this agonising period has helped with my temporary insanity.

When in doubt BLOG!

When I sit down to write my daily entry it gives me a focused mantra to hold on to for the next 24 hours as I've tried to end each blog in hopeful words.

So finally this is the last entry I will make until I have my test results tomorrow. I have never felt more in the dark before. Totally on the fence....utterly clueless about what my future holds.

There have been plenty of times in the last couple weeks that I have had hopeful thoughts like, "Of course it worked!" Then the very next moment the confidence I just had scares me right back into the old familiar way of thinking, "Don't get your hopes up Cilla. You know what it feels like to be protect yourself and stop being so optimistic."

I am imprisoned by my own thoughts. I know that I could take a home pregnancy test to just get my answer now, but I am too afraid too. I have cried in my bathroom too many times. If the news isn't good I don't want to find out that way....again.

It's during this two week hell that my envy has peaked for those couples who get pregnant the "old fashioned" way. Going through In Vitro Fertilization turns our focus to medical details like egg quality, EXTREMELY early embryo development, blood HcG, uterine lining thickness, progesterone levels and on and on. We know so much that we know what can go wrong. We live in fear and anxiety and I don't believe that we, as humans, are programmed to be able to gracefully handle this amount of information when it comes to our own procreation. It feels so unfair. I wish I knew what it was like to wake up one morning and think, 'hmm, I haven't seen my period in a while." Then take a home pregnancy test and be surprised. "Wow! We're expecting!! No wonder my period is 5 days late!" How lovely that must be instead of feeling like a ticking time bomb through every grueling minute of this wait to find out if our $20,000 will result in happiness. God!! It's SO UNFAIR!!!

Obviously by now we've accepted that this IVF thing is our path even though we still feel the loss of normalcy sometimes. After 62 LONG days in this IVF cycle, and the many months before that of anticipation, it all comes down to a blood test tomorrow. We will finally learn what the next year holds for us...the much wanted pregnancy and parenthood? Or heavily feared second failed IVF heartbreak?

Your guess is as good as mine....someone flip a coin!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 61 - ???

Today I feel nothing. No more cramps, not tired, not anything. I have no idea what will unfold on Friday. The future looks like this to me: "????????"

Just two more days until we get an answer...we're in the home stretch now and remaining as hopeful as possible!!!

Thanks EVERYONE for all your incredible support through the last 60 days of this 2nd IVF round. I honestly would be much worse off (mentally) if it weren't for all the sweet comments from my bloggy friends, and all the support from my 'real world' friends!! Thank you all SO MUCH!!!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day 60 - CRAMPS!

I have strong feelings of menstrual cramps this morning which has me freaking out. No spotting, but definitely cramps. SHIT!! What does it mean? Am I about to start my period?? Is this normal in early pregnancy? I HAVE NO IDEA!! I have never been pregnant so I don't know what it feels like, but I have gotten my period a lot and I sure as hell know what that feels like.....SHIT!!! I'm a nervous wreck!!!....UGH!! I wish I knew what was going on inside my body....3 more whole days of waiting....AHHHH!!!

(I still refuse to take a home pregnancy test. My beta is scheduled for this Friday and Ben has taken the day off so that we can be together and either spend the weekend celebrating or mourning. We don't want to find out mid-week since the results are too intense either way.)