First OB Scan

For me, I think it's a combination of fear, my nature to protect myself from the pain of unexpected bad news and the fact that I have had no m/s or symptoms of any kind (other than being especially weepy, which is very uncharacteristic of me). Now, I have always said, I want NO m/s, please - but, obviously, the flip side of that is it leaves me wondering if the little appleseed decided not to stick around. And, though I don't believe in a supreme being, I do believe that the right things often have a way of unfolding when they don't always seem the best. So I was trying to be ready for a couple of outcomes today.

You were all right! Other than measuring 2 days behind (I was told +/- 3 days is fine), the heartbeat was 123 bmp and everything looked "right on track." I was at my former RE's office in NJ and I was so lucky to get the doctor I most loved there today - he's so tender, gentle and kind. He flipped on the audio switch and I could hear the heartbeat waves. Wow!

Thank you all for the encouragement when I was, clearly, lacking.



My first ultrasound is the day after tomorrow - Thursday morning. I don't even know if it's accurate to say I'm worried. Right now I'll just say I'm not feeling very encouraged. I feel no symptoms, nothing. The aching boobs I had (which were agony) have subsided to nothing over the past week and a half.

I do wonder if it's over already and it's just the 2cc's of PIO keeping me in the dark.

Pretty down today. The weather in NJ is gloomy and rainy and I miss my mom something awful. Hug your moms girls (and your dads). You can't understand or believe how excruciating their loss will be some day and the perpetual state of awareness that you will never hold them again. I would trade just about anything to have my mom right here on the couch next to me for two hours.

Sorry for the doom and gloom. Gotta get into the "tomorrow is another day" declaration of the lovely Scarlett.


It's the little things....

In the last week I've been icing before the PIO for less and less time. This isn't intentional, mind you, it's just that around 8:30 PM, I make my evening cup of Decaf Vanilla Chai Tea (yummy!) and enjoy it with a biscotti or a half of a cupcake (my neighbor brought me a delicious apple spice cupcake from Martha Stewart's new cupcakes recipe book - which she was sweet enough to stand on line to have signed by Martha herself the other day - a copy for each of us).

Anyway, back to the subject. I usually just forget to ice until it's late and the last few times I've felt the pinch a little but, you know, no big deal. So, tonight I decided not to ice at all. YEAH, I'm such a brave rebel! :) And you know what, the pinch is there but after the needle punctures the skin, it's over - and I think the distribution of the progesterone in oil is actually better without first icing the skin. Maybe I'll give it another go tomorrow night.

In other news, I painted a large canvas today that I've had for years. I chose an inspirational piece of abstract art but hated the outcome. So after it dried, I went back over it with a red shade as the base and tomorrow I will attempt to use this as my inspiration.


Estrogen & Progesterone


I'm embarassed to admit that though I know they want the progesterone over 20 with PIO and the estrogen over 300 (or is it 350?) and that I'm definitely doing fine, I don't really know what this all means.

I mean, when do they decide to begin the weaning process (you can tell I'm getting tired of the big IM nightly shot)? Is there a level they want to achieve before they begin that process?


No morning sickness, no problem!

So far, so good. I've feared the whole nausea thing but so far I'm doing well and I will thank my lucky stars if I never have it. For those of you who feel comforted by it, may you have my share :)

However, the last 3 days, I start to get CRAZY TIRED around 3 PM at the office and by the time I'm home (like right now) my eyes are closing. I will probably go to bed in a half hour and fall asleep not too much later. When my alarm's gone off this week, I've woken at 7 AM so tired that I'm sure I could stay asleep until noon.

I can't imagine it's the pregnancy - I mean, I'm 4w5d's! C'mon! The little embryo is probably a fraction of the size of a grain of rice - it can't be demanding of my body yet. So I thought, maybe it's the meds and that could be. Also the tension, the stress, the anxiety sapping my energy mid-day.

Hope you're all doing fab! :)


Beta #2 - 344

So...it just a little more than doubled. That's very good news! :)

No more betas. Next is ultrasound on 7/23.

Oh and there's a due date: March 14, 2010.

And I have to find an Obstetrician. Yeah, that's right - I don't have one. I have a wonderful Gynecologist whom I really trust and is a very highly respected Gyn surgeon. Is he "technically" an OB/Gyn, yes, but he chose not to practice Obstetrics a long time ago.

I called his office today to get a referral to a good Perinatologist. I just don't want to go to a regular OB, given I'm an IVF patient, a DE patient (risks for pre-eclampsia increase with DE), 42 and this is my first pregnancy.

Whew! It's been a wild ride. I wondered if I would ever get matched, I wondered if the cycle would succeed, I wondered if an eSET wasn't the stupidest mistake ever and then I fretted over those light waste-of-money Dollar Store sticks.

Maybe I just can't believe how easy this has been, despite all of my fears, anxiety and worrying, every single step of this cycle has worked perfectly. I feel extremely lucky and thankful.


Beta #1 - 167!

To be sure things were still good, Friday night I bought another cheapy Dollar Store stick. Contrary to what people say, I don't think it measures values under 50 so figured if my beta was increasing the stick would indicate so very nicely.

Saturday morning with FMU, I got a second line on the stick lighter than light. In fact, only after 5 minutes and supremely light. I thought FUCK, this is pissing me off - 'cause you know, then I started going down the chemical pregnancy bunny trail and who needs that?!

So I went out right after that to the 24-hour Wal.gr.eens and bought my trusty FRER (The Answer is also a great one - looks like the identical test). Then I headed to McDonalds, had a yummy egg thingy (which likely has plenty of salt incorporated) and some OJ and decided to wait an hour or so until I had to pee. It was plenty concentrated and the second line - for the first time ever - came up at the same time as the first line and pretty rich colored (though not as dark as control line).

Then I relaxed and promised not to POAS until beta.

I emailed my nurse early today after my beta blood draw so she'd know I already knew. She called with big congratulations, which was nice, and said it was a very strong beta.

I have to repeat on Wednesday, of course, and ultrasound on 7/23.

So far, sooooo good! :)

Huge congratulations to my bloggy friend Kami, who just got a positive beta yesterday from a FET with ONE single embryo "leftover" from her successful cycle two years ago. Isn't that awesome?! The icing is realizing that means you get to keep 25K in your pocket vs. a new cycle. That's a lot of cake you can buy for the icing! :)



On of my bloggy buds called this "Infertility Mecca" and I couldn't think of a more appropriate name. When you enter the temple, you understand why.

Onwards suggested some Dinosaur tracks - so I visited Dinosaur Ridge and did the "little" walk. The next pic below the "tracks" shows the "ridge" which is a 2.5 mile round-trip walk but in the extreme heat, the top of my head was so hot you could fry an egg. There were bicyclists that would zoom by me going up the incline - very impressive (I could see their leg muscles quivering).

And this is a picture from the top of Mt. Falcon where I was going to go on a hike the day before Dinosaur Ridge. The skies opened up just before I started the hike (very appreciative of the preferable timing vs. during my hike). But I love mountains so despite any weather challenges, it was still beautiful.

Last night, I watched some fireworks at a local high school with my awesome little furbaby Liv (pic not from last night) and a neighbor.

Sure hope you all enjoy the holiday and see some great fireworks!



Progression from yesterday (7 AM and 6 PM):

I like sticks with lines because they help me obsess over any line progression darkness.

The ones below - although super nice to see a "Yes+" and a "Pregnant" aren't as rewarding - 'cause they don't tell me HOW pregnant I am today vs. yesterday.

Then there are the Dollar Store sticks. Curse them! I hate them! I don't even know why I wasted a whole dollar on one! I think the baby has to be kicking to get a positive on those!

Okay, no - the truth is that I don't think the baby has to be kicking to see a line on these. Actually, I think you need a beta of like 50 to get a line. So, of course, there is my whole reason to worry. I worry that this year will be just like last year in more ways than just two lines on 4dp5dt. I worry that my nurse will call me with that sad voice of "well, you're pregnant but I won't lie to you, the beta is kind of low" (last year it was 15.5).

I've said it before and I'll say it again. We will all be crazy until AFTER the moment of our last failure (sometimes even longer than that). I can't help but relive the fear that I'm doomed to kill embryos a couple of days after implantation with some toxic goo my uterus produces! Stupid uterus! I only put in one, I didn't try to crowd you and upset you. Can't you be nice to the one?!

You'll be glad to know - I'm out of sticks now or, trust me, I would have also peed on the line ones 'cause that's the only way to know from a highly scientific standpoint (of course!) in my central NJ kitchen whether or not my beta is rising. HA!


5dp5dt - Sticks!

My biggest technical challenge getting shots of these is that the flash creates a white-out and then you see nothing. So I figured I'd take a picture in the morning and, hopefully, the sun would deactivate the flash. Well, NJ has been devoid of sun in all but 4 days since Memorial Day but there was enough daylight by the glass door that the flash remained silent (no, I don't know how to stop the flash myself - I'm so not techy).

But for those of you who like to pee on sticks too.....without further ado. :)

One hurdle down, a dozen to go!

Thanks all so much for your support and cheerleading - it's priceless!



Listen, you girls are the ONLY ones who will understand what I'm about to describe.

It takes some set of balls and/or outright idiocy to test on 2dp5dt and be disappointed by a snow white stick. Well, guilty as charged! Too embarrassed to admit it to you all, I thought "this shit's doomed!"

Yesterday, 3dp5dt I tested - AM and PM. Yeah, that's right - TWICE! Powder white. Then I played the mental games I often do with myself (and friends - oh they just love wasting their time with my mental manipulations!). I asked myself yesterday, knowing that the evening of 3dp5dt I have a negative, if I could go back to the transfer table, would I tell Dr. Gustofson, "you're out of your bloody mind - transfer TWO!" And last night, I said, I don't know - I truly just didn't know. And you could argue that I didn't know because there was still a chance for this to turn out well. That may be true.

But it gave me a LOT to think about. Because I realized that even though my crazy brain had gone to the "I'm doomed" spot, I still had some confidence that having agreed to an eSET was actually the right decision for me and one I was happy with. That was not only a good place to be, it was a really good place to be when you're thinking it might be over. One thing I'd likely not have to regret is facing a twin pregnancy that I might not be in a position to have (never mind the 8-10 fold increased risk in donor egg pregnancies for pre-eclampsia and premature birth which scare the life out of me - never mind with twins!).

Driving home from work today I remembered that last year, during my donor embryo transfer, I got my first positive HPT on 4dp5dt in the late afternoon.

Imagine plucking the finest baby hair, slicing it four times, dunking the piece in the lightest shade of pink and placing it next to a control line. Then put on your heavy-duty reading glasses and bring the stick to the light after 5 minutes and tilt it carefully towards the light and twist your head sideways. That's my 2nd line last year.

At 6:00 PM ET today, it was like deja vu all over again. I feel extremely lucky. And I would post the picture if I thought you could actually SEE the line in a picture.

Right now, it's looking very good. :)