Monday, March 31, 2008

The Agony & the Ecstasy

I had the most horrible dream last night where DH and I just found out we were pregnant and were decorating the nursery. It was almost finished when we found out we were having a chemical pregnancy. I woke up completely upset at 3:50 am and couldn't fall back to sleep because it hit so close to home. We got positive pregnancy tests yesterday and even though we're trying not to get too excited until we get the beta results back, we did spend a good amount of time yesterday in the room that will be our nursery talking about where the furniture will go so the nightmare was WAY too close for comfort. I laid in bed for two hours praying that our little one will stick while I poked at my boobs to see if they were still sore and overanalyzed every little twinge I was felling in my abdomen. Finally, DH woke up at 6:00 am and I took another test. I was so relieved to see Pregnant pop up right away. I can worry a little less today, although I'll probably buy some more FRER tests to take tonight to see if the line gets any darker. I was never a POAS-a-holic before but now that I've gotten a positive, I can't help myself. I need reassurance that I'm still pregnant.

That's the thing with IF. Every time you get past one hurdle, there's another one waiting. You get your period and wait to ovulate. Once you ovulate, you're subjected to the crazy 2ww. If you get a BFP, you spend the first week hoping it's not a chemical pregnancy. Once you have three doubling betas, you pray you won't miscarry. It really never ends. I think about some of my friends who had what we refer to as "oops" babies (you know the people who tell you "We weren't really trying and were so surprised!" I'm sorry but not using birth control is trying!) and know that they never went through any of this agony. For them, they had no idea when they ovulated, no clue they were in the 2ww and most likely never heard of a chemical pregnancy. They probably did worry about miscarriage, but I think for IFers, after trying for so long, the worry is even worse.

So here I am, one day after my first positive pregnancy test ever and I am honestly terrified. Excited too for sure, but also frightened beyond belief that this great blessing might be taken away. And the worst part is that there's nothing I can do about it except take things a day at a time.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

P-Day is here!

I literally couldn't fall asleep last night. I just kept repeating to myself "I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant" over and over hoping to convince my body it was true. I envisioned POAS and seeing two lines. I said every prayer I could think of which, for this semi-lapsed Catholic was a big deal. When I finally drifted off, I had a dream I saw two lines followed by another dream where I was waiting for my SAT scores (I guess my subconscious manifested the idea of taking a test!). I woke up this morning at 5 am and went back to my visualizations and "I'm pregnant" mantra for another two hours before DH was up and ready for me to test. I really can't remember being as nervous as I was going to pee on the stick. Even though I'd done this same thing dozens of times before, this particular trip to the bathroom seemed like it had so much more on the line than any time before.

So what did we see? Take a look for yourself.

The test on top was a stark negative (we used regular water so we'd have something to compare with) and the test on the bottom is mine. If you look closely enough you'll see what we saw just a minute after taking the test -- a second line! It's harder to see in the picture than it is in real life, but it's definitely there. DH kept saying "That's a line, right?" and I just kept replying "A line is a line!" I swear we sounded like a bad comedy routine!

I'm 12dpiui so the fact that it's light isn't surprising but I'm being cautiously optimistic. We'll try a digital later today and if that says Pregnant, I'll feel a little better but I'm not going to call it a BFP until after my blood test. There's definitely a line there, though, and for now, that's all I can ask for!

UPDATE: I took another FRER test and a CBE digital and they both came back positive!

The second line on the FRER popped up immediately and although you may not be able to tell from the photo, it's about twice as dark as the line on the first test. The Pregnant on the digital popped up within 30 seconds. OMG, this could be real!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

22 Hours and Counting

That's right, 22 hours from now I will POAS and hopefully get the BFP I've been dreaming of. Literally. Last night I had my first ever dream that I was pregnant. In the dream, I was throwing a bake sale with a friend of mine for some odd reason and she started telling my co-workers I was pregnant even though I had just tested positive. I kept trying to tell her that it was too early. I know a lot of people say they had a BFP dream right before getting one, so hopefully, this is a good sign!

I spent yesterday on an emotional roller coaster, feeling sure of a BFP one minute, then doing a complete 180 thinking AF was on her way. Since then, I've had a few more symptoms but who knows what they mean. I got really emotional yesterday at work and actually teared up. I've also been craving red meat, feeling some weird cramping (not where I usually get AF cramps), peeing a lot, getting hungry right after eating and drinking a ton of water. These signs could mean nothing. But they could also mean absolutely everything. All I know is that this time tomorrow, I'll either be overjoyed or devastated. And I think I'm prepared for either.

UPDATE: It's 6:23 pm (roughly 13 hours until P-Day, as I'm now calling it) and I swear I have menstrual cramps. Since AF would normally be arriving the day after tomorrow, they're right on schedule and I'm pretty sure I'll be seeing a stark white stick tomorrow morning. We're heading out to dinner with some friends and I'll definitely be indulging in some alcoholic beverages. Might as well. The old saying is drink 'til it's pink and my guess is, I won't be seeing pink for quite a while.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sometimes Google Is Not Your Friend

Remember how just a few hours ago I said that I was sure I was pregnant? Well now? Not so much. I started thinking about progesterone side effects and how they can mimic pregnancy symptoms so after doing way too many google searches, I'm now convinced I'm going to see a BFN on Sunday. Turns out exhaustion, veiny breasts and extreme hunger (that was another of my potentially phantom signs) can all be a result of the progesterone so I'm pretty sure I got my hopes up for nothing. Even what I like to think was implantation spotting could just be irritation from the suppositories. Oy, why of why do I do this to myself???

And one more sign....

One of the wonderful girls from the TTTC board on The Nest told me she knew she was pregnant because her cat would constantly curl up on her belly. Hmmmmm. Can cats really know before we do that we're pregnant? I did some research and sure enough, there is a lot of talk that cats can sense the HCG that is released during pregnancy. Many cat owners have noted that their cats start behaving more friendly once those early signs of pregnancy start to appear. Well guess what? Our cat Fiona has been super snuggly for the past few days and refuses to sit anywhere other than on my belly. That has to mean I'm going to get a BFP, right?

D-Day is Near

Yesterday morning, DH asked me when we're going to POAS. After feeling like this 2ww has been crawling by, now D-Day is almost here and honestly, it scares the hell out of me. Sure, since the IUI 10 days ago, I've been dying for this day to come, but knowing that this weekend it could all be over is terrifying.

And here's why -- I really think I'm pregnant. Yes, I posted a few days ago saying I've been feeling absolutely nothing and that was true then. In all honesty, I'm still hardly feeling much but the few small things I have noticed seem pretty significant. As you may have seen in my previous post, I had some pink-tinged CM on Wednesday and yesterday, I had the slightest bit of spotting that I really think could be from implantation. A few cycles ago, I had something similar and still got a BFN so it could be nothing, but considering my lining was a lot thicker this time around, I'm feeling positive. The next sign is the fact that I literally cannot keep my eyes open past 8 pm. Now I know that could be related to the progesterone I'm taking but I'm hoping against hope that it means something more. And last, but not least, I have bright blue veins all over my chest. Literally, I look like something out of Alien! I've had blue veins in the 2ww before, but this time they're all over and darker than they ever have been. Yes, it's likely that all of these symptoms mean nothing. But I just have this gut feeling that this IUI worked and that's why getting a BFN would absolutely devastate me.

So what to do? Should I not POAS and go in for my beta once I'm officially late (probably Tuesday or Wednesday when I'm 14 or 15dpiui) or face my fears and POAS this weekend? Well, I think I'm going to POAS Sunday at 12dpiui. By then, I'll be sure the trigger is out of my system and I think the results will be pretty accurate. Hopefully, my gut will be right and I'll see those two lines. C'mon BFP!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


No, I didn't get a BFP but considering I'm only 8dpiui, it's the next best thing!


I'm taking progesterone twice a day to help "support" implantation. Well, I just inserted my morning dose (yes, I have to take it vaginally. Don't say I didn't warn you about the TMI!) and when I pulled the applicator out, there was pink CM. That's right, PINK CM!!! I am hoping and praying this is implantation spotting. That would mean I'm one step closer to a BFP!

I was thinking last night how great it would be if we had some sort of window into our wombs. I know, I know, it sounds crazy, but hear me out. I'm only 8dpiui right now but there's a good chance we could already be out of the game. Seriously, if DH's sperm never met my egg, there's no chance I'm going to end up preggers this month. If I could see what's doing in my reproductive organs at the moment, I'd know for sure whether the egg had fertilized and we had passed stage one of the 2ww. I'm assuming we have, which would mean our little blastocyst is on its way to stage two -- implantation -- and it would so great to see if it even made it that far. Honestly, why should we be tortured analyzing potentially phantom symptoms hoping for a clue about what's going on inside?

Since there hasn't been a scientist who's tackled the challenge of how to watch your child's conception yet, I'm left praying that the pink CM I saw this morning is a good sign. As any TTTCer can tell you, we spend so much time scrutinizing the toilet paper every time we go to the bathroom, we might as well have a degree in TP CSI! Before ovulation, you're looking for EWCM to tell you you're fertile, from 7-10dpo you're searching for any signs of implantation spotting and after 10dpo, you're desperately hoping to not see the telltale spotting that indicates AF is about to arrive. I can't wait for the day I just go to the bathroom and toss the TP in without spending at least a minute staring at it for any important hints it may provide. Hopefully, I'm already 8 days closer to doing just that!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Halfway there....

Today I'm 7dpiui and I feel absolutely nothing. Well, that's not exactly true. My boobs are super sore but I know that's a side effect from the progesterone I'm taking so it doesn't really count. Other than that, nada. Even my bloat is gone! I'm starting to think this cycle is going to be a bust just like the last 18. I know I should be thinking positive thoughts but this morning I just can't find anything to convince me there's a chance I may be pregnant. A week from now, I'll know either way but considering how long this past week has felt, another 7 days seems like forever from now. If fourteen days drags like this now, what will 9 months be like when I finally get my BFP?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Baby Porn

Oy, this 2ww is crawling by! It feels like my IUI was months ago but I’m actually only 6dpiui. Sometimes, I'm 100% certain I'm pregnant. Other times, I'm completely convinced I'm going to get another BFN. Each day, I change my mind 20 times. It's like TTTC bipolar disorder or something!

So how have I been passing the time until I can finally POAS? By looking at baby porn! Please don't call the cops -- I'm not doing anything Chris Hanson from Dateline NBC would be interested in. I call looking at baby things looking at baby porn. It's kind of like how before I was even engaged, I already had a subscription to Martha Stewart Weddings and had most of the details of my wedding all planned out. That was my wedding porn and now I'm into baby porn. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I've been browsing nursery sites to get inspiration. I've already got a short list of cribs I like, know exactly which bedding I want for a boy and a girl and have several options for possible wall art bookmarked on my computer. It's kind of masochistic to subject myself to all of these baby-centric thoughts, but I just can't help it. In the past, I would avoid anything that could possibly "jinx" me getting pregnant (you know, like designing my yet to be conceived child's nursery!) but after so many BFN’s, I feel like I need something to keep me hopeful. And if that means picking out changing tables and car seats, then so be it!

For those of you who like to torture themselves in a similar manner, check out this new blog a friend of a friend of ours started called Project Nursery. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

2ww, Here I Come!

Despite the fact that the physician's assistant took forever to get the catheter through my cervix, my IUI this morning went really well. DH had a great count and there are now more than 30 million little swimmers desperately searching for an egg to penetrate. I've been feeling ovulation-like pains all afternoon (along with some cramps from the IUI) so I think our timing was perfect but we'll BD tonight just to be safe.

With two mature follies, more than 30 million sperm and a triple stripe lining, there's no reason we shouldn't get pregnant this cycle but I know the chances are still slim. I'm going to try to be realistic about things so I'm not devastated if I get a BFN but at the same time, I need to stay hopeful. So while I'm preparing for the worst and praying for the best, the next 14 days are guaranteed to be the slowest I've ever experienced. Let the 2ww begin!

Monday, March 17, 2008

And away we go!

My monitoring appointment went well yesterday -- I had a 17mm follie on the right and a 16.5mm on the left. But the best news of all was that my lining was 9.5 and a triple stripe, which the doctor said is the best possible environment for implantation. I am so excited! We got the call yesterday afternoon that we could go ahead and trigger that night and my IUI will be tomorrow morning. Considering I have two mature follicles (I never got more than one on Clomid), my lining is perfect and this is our first IUI, I'm so hopeful that this will be our cycle. I'm not the most religious person in the world, but I'll be praying we finally get our BFP.

Friday, March 14, 2008


Since this is my first injectables cycle, I wasn't sure what to expect but I really thought I'd be triggering by now. Turns out, I was wrong. My RE wanted to start me on a low dose of Bravelle to see how my body responded and to prevent over-stimulation. I was happy to hear that -- the last thing I wanted to happen was doing all of these injections and having the cycle canceled because I produced too many mature follicles – but after 14 days of stims, 7 blood draws and 4 ultrasounds, I'm ready to be done! So I'm happy to report that I just got my instructions for the next two days and they're lowering my Bravelle dose and having me come in on Sunday for what I hope will be the last blood draw and ultrasound. If all looks good, I'll be triggering that night and having the IUI on Tuesday. This morning, I had three mature follies – a 14 and an 11 on my right side and a 13 on my left – and I’m keeping my fingers crossed two of them will be at least 18mm on Sunday. Come on follies, get to growing!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Change of Seasons

When we first started TTC, I was convinced that the best time to get pregnant would be during the summer and I had lots of reasons why:

1. I wouldn't be 8 months pregnant in 90 degree heat

2. Winter clothes make perfect maternity clothes

3. Our baby would be born in the winter or early spring, which I imagined was the perfect time for birthday parties down the line (I always felt bad for kids with birthdays during the summer or around the holidays because they never had big celebrations)

4. I could go on maternity leave through the summer, which would give me time to relax on the beach (and motivation to lose the baby weight)

I could go on and on but you get the gist.

Fast forward almost two years and now I could care less when I get pregnant as long as I do. If this cycle actually works (and I'm convinced that's a big if), I'll be due in December, right between Thanksgiving and Christmas. A few years ago before we started TTC, a friend of mine had a baby on December 30th and I remember thinking how gipped that kid would get because his birthday was so close to the holidays. Now, nothing sounds better to me than a December baby. And yes, I have plenty of reasons why:

1. I won't be 8 months pregnant in 90 degree heat!

2. Winter clothes are perfect to hide post-partum weight

3. DH always gets time off around the holidays so we'll be able to spend more time together as a family (even if it's not on the beach!)

4. Our child would be born in 2008 and I have this weird fixation with even numbered years (I was born in an even numbered year, I graduated high school and college in an even numbered year, DH and I got married in an even numbered year...)

Again, I could go on and on. I'm sure if this month doesn't bring a BFP, I'll come up with a whole new list of why January or February or April or even July will be the best month to have a baby. But you know what, a December baby does sound perfect....

WARNING: Bitterness Ahead....

So I've made the trek to the RE's office 7 times in the past 10 days. I live in NYC and the RE's office is in NYC so I'm sure it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to most people. But believe me, it's a total pain in the ass. I live downtown on the West side and the doctor's office is uptown on the East side. That means either taking a $20 cab ride both to and from or walking 8 blocks to a subway across town followed by another 6 blocks to the doctor’s office. Either way, it takes about 45 minutes to get there. Add that to the fact that I have to be there between 7:00 and 8:30 am and I have to get up super early and either go straight to work at 9:00 (on a normal day, I usually roll in about 10:30 or 11:00) or go back home to waste some time before work. I know there are women who have to drive hours to their clinics so I really shouldn’t complain but it's still a hassle and I'm starting to get really tired of it.

When I got to the RE’s this morning (I took a cab there and the subway home), I realized for the first time that I recognized about 10 people in the waiting room. Not just by face, but also by name! How did I know these women who I’ve never met before? The nurses shout your name out when they're ready for you and I've been there so many times now that I've started putting the names with the faces. That's really kind of scary.

As I was wondering whether anyone there might recognize me by name too, a woman came to sign in pushing a stroller. This has to be my biggest pet peeve of all! I realize that there are a lot of women out there dealing with secondary infertility but in my opinion, there's something insensitive about bringing your child with you to an office full of people who would do anything for just one baby. Yes, babysitters and day care are expensive but there has to be some way to keep this from happening. Maybe the RE’s office should start some sort of child care center or something where women can check their children upon arrival so bitter infertiles like me don't have to be subjected to the sight of them.

I know, I know -- I'm really crusty today, but I can't help it. Some days I'm filled with hope, others I'm in deep despair but today, I seem to be stuck on angry. After almost two years of TTC, it’s hard to stay positive, and if I can’t vent here, where can I?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Follicular Frustration

I went in for more bloodwork this morning and they took 8 vials! I nearly passed out from the sight of them. You'd think after four nights of sticking myself, I'd be used to needles but they still bother me.

I got a call from the RE's office this afternoon that my E2 level is only at 36 so they're upping my dosage from 75 mg of Bravelle to 112.5 mg. The clinic I go is very conservative with injectables -- they'd rather start out slowly and increase than risk over-stimming. In theory, this makes sense. I don't want to have to cancle a cycle because my ovaries are over stimulated. But after four nights of injecting myself, I was hoping to see a little more progress. Oh well. If I've learned anything through my IF trials and tribulations, it's that patience is a virtue.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What's New Pussycat?

Honestly, not much! I went in for bloodwork yesterday and got a VM from the RE's office in the afternoon telling me not to come in today for an ultrasound but to come back on Wednesday for more bloodwork. Since I missed the call, I didn't have a chance to ask what my E2 level was or any other questions but my guess is it's still on the low side if my ultrasound is being pushed. Hopefully, I'll get some answers tomorrow.

Last night's shot was a little dicey. DH gave me the injection and I think he may have hit a vein or something because I started bleeding as soon as the needle came out. It didn't last very long and it looks fine this morning but it was a little nerve-wracking at the time.

Monday, March 3, 2008

My Date With the Needle

So DH and I decided that I should do the injection myself last night. It took a few minutes and lots of deep breathing but I finally managed to get the needle in. I would have been totally fine with the whole thing if I didn't have to watch the needle going in. For some reason, that's what gets to me every time. Even thinking about it makes my stomach jump!

I went in to the RE's office this morning for blood work and you'd never have known I'd injected myself the night before -- I couldn't watch the nurse inserting the needle there either. So silly!

Since I'm well on my way to becoming a human pincushion, I decided to keep track of the number of times I get stuck this cycle and I'll post updates here periodically.

Needle count since 3/1: 4 (2 @ RE's offrice for bloodwork, 2 @ Bravelle shots at home)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bravelle and Progesterone and Ovidrel, Oh My!

I've been spoiled on Clomid. Each month, I got my 20 pills from the pharmacy which wasn't that different than picking up my Claritin or some other medication. So even though I handed in six prescriptions for my injectibles this cycle, I have to admit I was slightly shocked when I picked them up yesterday. The sales girl handed me a shopping bag filled with drugs and supplies -- syringes, needles, alcohol swapping pads, Bravelle (the follicle stimulating hormone), Ovidrel (the shot that will trigger ovulation), Progesterone (to help support implantation of the egg after ovulation) and Prenatal Vitamins (I've been taking OTC PNV's for two years but the RE has me on prescription ones now). As the pharmacist walked me through everything, other customers were looking at me like I was a junkie. Who in the world needs that much medication along with needles and syringes? Apparently, infertiles do!

When I got home, I unpacked the 4 boxes of Bravelle, 4 boxes of Prometrium, the PNV's, 20 syringes and 20 needles and put the Ovidrel shot in the fridge. The first injection was still hours away but I was already nervous about the size of the needle. I was so relieved to see that it was a 27 1/2 gage which, as you can see from this photo, is only about an inch long.

And here's a look at the horse-pill sized PNV's I now take nightly:

The old adage goes that little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice and little boys are made of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. If only it were that easy!

Adventures With Injectibles

I survived my first injection! Despite a few mis-haps, DH gave me my first Bravelle shot last night and it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Here's a little bit abut the process:

We started by removing the syringe from it's packaging and attaching a Q-cap which helps mix the medicine. Next, we removed 1 ml of sodium chloride from the first vial and injected it into the second vial, where the Bravelle is in a concentrated pill. The sodium chloride and the Bravelle combined and we drew that 1 ml of liquid back into the syringe. Here's where things got a little nutty. The next step was to remove the Q-cap from the syringe and attach the needle. I managed to do that but when I went to take the cap off, I broke needle. DH went to get another one but couldn't find them. That's right -- somehow we had managed to lose a bag filled with 19 new needles! It took us about 20 minutes of crazed searching before we finally realized they had fallen off the self in our pantry into another bag. By now, we were both a little frazzled -- we really wanted to make sure we were doing everything right and "losing" the needles didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence in our ability to pull this off! One we calmed down, DH attached a new needle but we hit another snag attempting to get all of the air bubbles out of the syringe. After five minutes of trying to tap them out, we finally decided a very small one couldn't do much harm and it was time to do the injection. I swabbed the area on my belly with several alcohol pads (anything to prolong the inevitable!) and pinched the skin where the shot would go. DH thought it was a good idea if I gave myself the first injection just in case I ever had to do it alone so I picked up the syringe, held it like a dart as instructed, and took several deep breaths. When I went to jab myself, I exploded into a fit of giggles. I couldn't help it! The nerves took over and every time I tried to do the injection, I laughed uncontrollably instead. DH finally took the syringe from me and stuck me in the stomach. Injection #1 was a success! After all of that preparation, the shot was over in just a few seconds and while it didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would, I wouldn't call it painless either. All in all, the whole thing took a little more than a half hour but I'm hoping it will go more smoothly tonight. Let's hope that my follies are kicking into high gear!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Deep Thoughts, Courtesy of Jose Cuervo

I had dinner last night with some girlfriends. During the course of the evening, I managed to suck down three margaritas and a glass of wine. I honestly cannot tell you the last time I drank so much! But since I'm hoping those will be my last alcoholic beverages for, oh, nine months or so, I might as well go out with a bang, right?

Two of my friends who were at dinner have kids so we spent a lot of time talking about them. At some point during the night, I wondered why it wasn't bothering me. I mean, for someone struggling with IF, you'd think hearing story after story about babies and toddlers would be kind of painful and I'll be honest -- there have been times when conversations like that would have sent me into a mini-depression. But last night I realized things had changed. For more than a year, I've been so focused on getting pregnant that actually having children seems completely unrelated. I know that I want a baby but the reality of what being a parent means is a whole other ballgame! Dealing with middle of the night feedings, the agony of teething and toilet training, handling fighting siblings -- I don't connect any of these things with the quest I'm on at this moment. For now, my goal is to get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby. That's the fantasy. I'll deal with the reality of what comes along with it later.

Operation Procreation Begins!

I had my CD2 u/s and b/w this morning and since everything looks good, I start the injectibles tonight. I'm excited but nervous -- the idea of giving myself (or letting DH give me) these shots is slightly terrifying -- but if this is what it will take to get a BFP, then so be it. Bring on the Bravelle!