BETA DAY!!!

I can’t believe the day is finally here… the past 9 days have felt like WEEKS and I have never been so excited to give blood. I couldn’t sleep last night and I woke up DH around 6am because I couldn’t lie in silence any longer. Turns out he couldn’t sleep either and we both joked about how today was about to change the rest of our lives.

As we drove down to Lone Tree the anxiety was high but we both tried to keep the mood light. We jammed to a little Taylor Swift and tried to come up with ideas that would keep us occupied for the rest of the morning. I checked in and just minutes later they called my name and we both jumped with anticipation.

It’s no surprise that they had trouble finding a good vein and then had trouble with my blood pressure. Three sticks included one extremely uncomfortable underarm vein and twenty-five minutes (yes 25… for a BLOOD DRAW) later we were done and was told someone would call us today with the results. We went to breakfast and could barely eat – even though it had been less than an hour I watched my phone like a hawk.

I know quite a few women who cycled at my clinic and know they call no later than lunchtime with beta results. So as 11:45am rolled around, the knots in my stomach started getting larger and larger. The minutes felt like hours and I had DH call my phone numerous times just to make sure it rang. My phone has been fussy lately and I was terrified the call wouldn’t come through. But of course DH said “your phone is fine, they’ll call.” (He thinks I can be dramatic about my phone sucking) 30 minutes later still no call and now every worse case scenario was running through my mind. DH officially started to panic as well and we ended up sitting on the couch in complete silence.

My phone still hadn’t rang at 1pm and I was near a breakdown, WHY HADN’T THEY CALLED? Then at 1:03pm a ping went on off and sure enough I had a new voicemail (but no missed call!!!!!!!) from my clinic.

“Hi. It’s Brittany from ____. I have your results, please call me.” Click. No tenderness, no emotion, just flatness…. Cue breakdown.

After spending 5 minutes weeding through the after-hours message service and finally getting a nurse, Amy, she puts me on hold. At this point I am convinced it’s negative and trying not to hyperventilate.

She picks back up and at 1:09pm MT said “______? Yes, ok. It’s POSITIVE, you’re pregnant. Congratulations!!!!!”

I couldn’t breath and I didn’t listen to a single word that came after- I just sat in DH’s arms and sobbed. I have never heard the words “you’re pregnant” before and the emotions running through me at that very moment is something I will never be able to describe.

I spent the next five minutes trying to compose myself as she rattled off instructions and other information that I couldn’t even wrap my head around. Through the chaos I finally remember to ask “wait, what’s my actual number?”

“It’s 383.9 – like I said honey you’re VERY pregnant! That’s a really strong beta.”

So there you have it. I am pregnant. And it feels SO AMAZING to say that. I am pregnant, I am pregnant, I AM PREGNANT!!!

(And DH has finally agreed to get me a new phone….)

Waiting

There is nothing that will kill your patience faster than the two week wait. Or in my case the 9 day wait. (Oh and before you say – well at least it’s less than the full two weeks – don’t forget we had to struggle through SIX days waiting to hear how our embryos developed…) We still have 3 days until our beta and I am going NUTS. One second I think I am pregnant and the next I am breaking down swearing that it didn’t work. Boy oh boy is this hard.

I know what you’re thinking, why doesn’t she just POAS? Well before our transfer DH and I agreed that we wouldn’t and we would wait for the beta. His thought – if it’s negative I will breakdown (which is a fair assumption) and he doesn’t want the added stress of said breakdown to cause more harm than good on the chance that’s just too early to tell. My thought – I really just want to know what I am walking in to.

Our beta falls on a Saturday so that means some nurse we have never worked or spoken with will be telling us our fate. One downside to going to such a big clinic is that our dr actually isn’t the one who tells us. Apparently you only hear from them when it’s negative and they’re checking in so this time, I don’t want to even hear Dr M’s voice until I am graduating from that place!

So now I struggle through the next 3 days like I have since last Thursday. I keep telling myself to stay calm and to keep positive because right now all we know is that we had a 75% shot and that’s pretty damn good.  Wish me luck!

Gone

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I checked in to the hospital yesterday at 6am and by 11am I was in post-op trying to wrap my head around the fact that I was now medically sterile. Dr M held my hand and rubbed my arm as I cried, the moment had come and I wasn’t really ready for it. She smiled as she promised to take care of me and reminded us that we have “absolutely beautiful” embryos. I knew no matter how terrified and heartbroken I felt laying in that hospital bed, this was a necessary step to achieving our dream and I had to trust in Dr M.

Afterwards through the drug induced haze she explained that both my tubes had scarred (adhered) to my ovaries and I had numerous new implants and adhesions since my surgery last year. Both of my tubes were removed along with any endo she could see. She noted that the tube wrapped around my left ovary was likely why that side responded so poorly to stims. Thankfully the depo lupron has been helping my lining and although my utuerus had some scarring from endo it was nothing that Dr M was concerned about.

She spoke with my husband more and was more confident we would be successful in our upcoming transfer in January. “You guys will have lots and lots of children.” Lots and lots may be ambitious but her confidence in our situation, for the first time, is a breath of fresh air.

So as I lay here in bed recovering I am reminded that I just have to have patience and understanding through this journey. I still need to fully accept the fact that my tubes are really gone but as we get closer to the finish line I am starting to truly believe I will be pregnant in January. And that idea keeps me going through this…

NINE

Wow, I can’t believe we are already two weeks post retrieval. It’s been a crazy 2 months – my cycle went from almost being a bust to turning in to the best news we’ve received since we started trying to get pregnant.

14 eggs retrieved

11 eggs mature

9 eggs fertilized

9 good quality blasts frozen day 5/6

You read that right folks – 100% freeze from fertilization and we have NINE beautiful blasts (literally) chilling in Lone Tree. Holy freaking goodness.

Seriously though, we still can’t believe it.

That all being said, I have to say it out loud…. IVF fucking sucks. No matter what you read, no matter what you do, no matter how you prepare – nothing will change the fact that this whole process is one of the hardest things you will ever go through. The drugs; the extra drugs that you think you won’t get but actually need double-of; the endless appointments; the overwhelming and ever-changing emotions; the secrecy; the loneliness; the agony of waiting for your phone to ring every afternoon; the would-of, could-of, should-ofs; the outrageous cost; the physical discomfort and pain; the damn ultrasound wand – it’s all really shitty.

But I wouldn’t change a day of that hell for any one of my 9 pieces of heaven.

I like to think I handled the whole process with a good amount of grace. I really focused on positive energy and intention, staying relaxed and taking as good of care of myself as possible. I read 3 books. I took a step back from all of my extra commitments and was home every night by 5pm. I journaled by hand and spent as little time as possible on electronics. I never flinched as DH jammed needle after needle in to my bruised stomach. I let myself cry it out and then would get up and work past my sadness. I accepted the process for what it was and tried to make the best of it.  My therapist called it “Mama Bear” mode – I made this cycle my main priority and would have done anything to protect those follicles growing.

And they did grow. And we were blessed with 9 miracles.

“An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you in to something great. So just focus and keep aim.”

 

Did you follow the directions?

This morning was my second freak-out of the cycle. (First being my FedEx breakdown. Good times.) As I laid on the bed icing my stomach watching DH mix and prep my injection I couldn’t help but notice he was struggling……

“Are you sure that’s the right amount, seems like a lot?”

“I can’t get all of it out, like the needle must be messed up.”

I ask to try and as I pulled the medicine up in the vial I noticed half the sodium chloride was still in the canister but we already had 1cc of fluid in the syringe.

“How much dilutant did you put in here?!?!” I shriek.

“The whole bottle of it, 2cc or so.”

“WHAT? It’s only supposed to be ONE. Do you not remember having leftover fluid yesterday and you even commenting it’s weird they give you extra? What if the shot is over-diluted and doesn’t work now?!”

“Honey, I am really sorry. I messed up but it’s going to be ok, it’s still the same amount of powder.”

At this point I am hysterically crying and basically feel like the world is ending. It’s 6:45am and the office isn’t open yet so I can’t call but I have to stay on medication schedule – what do I do?!?!

We make the executive decision thanks to Google to give me the shot as is and call the office as soon as they open. While Menopur is probably the most painful of the subcutaneous injections, none of these shots have been nearly as bad as I thought they would be. Well this one stung like a bitch.

DH went off to work and I decided to stay home to call my nurse just in case I need another dose. At this point I would actually say my nurse and I are friends. (I think this happens a lot when you have a nurse you actually like and see daily.) She’s my age, she’s funny, she’s incredibly patient and kind, she’s knowledgeable, she doesn’t get annoyed with my excessive questions and need for more information, and she has endo too. She also knows I am a little bit of an anxiety prone A-type….

“Did we completely ruin my whole cycle? OMG like what if they stop growing because they need more Menopur…” (Yes, I realize how crazy this sounds is as I write it out.)

She just laughs “You’re not dying, all you did was make the shot a bit more painful than usual because of the extra sodium chloride. I promise you, everything will be ok and you still got the appropriate dose.”

After she talked me off the ledge I texted DH and just said “Shanna said I am dying. Whole cycle a bust.”

He didn’t think it was too funny. Apparently my hysteria made him feel pretty bad and I couldn’t help but laugh. We’re both rational adults and I nearly strangled him over 1cc of dilutant.

I apologized but this reminded me to be gentle with him. He’s going through this process too and he’s being really amazing about it all. He gives me every shot. He brings me an ice pack and ginger ale when I feel nauseous. He cooks dinner every night and never makes me lift a finger around the house. He takes me to every single appointment when he’s not working. He says all of my crazy hippie affirmations and even lays with me as I do fertility focused meditations.

He’s as good of an IVF husband as I could have ever dreamed of and I need to remember that, even if sometimes he forgets to follow directions… 😀

Well my first weekend of priming injections wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I cried during the first one and the Cetrotide stung a bit but it was nothing a little meditation and warm tea couldn’t help.  What I could do without – the hot flashes and waves of nausea from the Estrace. Oh Lawdy I feel like a 50 year old woman going through menopause.

I go in for my suppression check on Wednesday and if everything goes as scheduled have stims starting on Thursday. Positive thoughts for no cysts!