Thursday, October 30, 2008

5w2d - holding pattern

I'm in a hurry up and wait pattern I think. Frustrated and trying to remain optimistic.
First off. I have no symptoms at all. No m/s or enhanced sense of smell etc. And at last test, my hcg is high enough that if its going to happen it should. I know most women would be grateful to have a symptom free pregnancy, but for those of us who are fertility challenged, symptoms are the only ways we can tell we're still pregnant.
Okay, so I have one slight 'advantage'. Because my progesterone levels don't seem to be high enough and we're playing with meds, I get extra blood tests and since they are sucking my blood, I'm asking for more hcg tests at the same time. Mondays hcg was 3804. A little slower rise than between tests 1 and 2 but still more than doubling in 48 hours. Most recent blood draw was this morning. Now I just need to wait (not so patiently) for my Dr to get the results.
Oh, I saw the Dr on Tuesday. Nothing exciting. We chatted, wrote up some more prescriptions and booked the ultrasound. No weight, no bp, no check-up, no nothing else. Just a regular appointment with my Dr. She did say she hoped I was on major sedatives when they were yanking the adhesions from my cervix and cringed when I said that I had nothing at all, and yes it did hurt.
The U/S is not going to be until Nov 15. The 11th would have been the earliest to see the heartbeat. The 15th is the first appointment after that. I hear that many women with fertility issues are scared that they'll see nothing in the u/s. I'm one of them. Terrified even.
Why does having babies come so easy to some and so hard to others? Why can the heroin addict down the street give birth to a drug addicted baby every year and I can't even have one? How can so many teenagers get pregnant the 'only time' they've ever had sex? Why do people who don't want children, those who abuse children, get to have them, no tests, no questions asked, but we have to go through psych evals, invasive tests and home assessments? Certainly not fair when you look at it.
Anyway, sorry to go off on a rant. I'm just trying to pass time until my next results come in.

Friday, October 24, 2008


So far so good. My second beta came in at 712. This is almost 3x the first value, which only needed to double so I’m feeling better now.

My progesterone is just on the border of being low, so I have to up that one. I test it again on Monday to see if it’s improved. Since they are sucking my blood out anyway, I’m getting another hcg done, just for fun.

I see the Dr on Tuesday for my first ever prenatal exam. Any suggestions of questions to ask? I’m going to bring a list because I know I’ll forget some in the excitement.

The picture is of the embryos before being sucked into the catheter, then let lose in me. Cute aren’t they? Click on the image to see all three.

Does anyone want to play the guess how many babies are growing? Consensus seems to be “at least 2”. I won’t know for a few more weeks and the ultrasound, but it’s pointing towards twins so I’ll be wrapping my head around that.

I think, in many ways, twins with DE & DS is not a bad thing. It means that they would each have a full blood relative. Sometimes that helps with the questions that could come up. Ideally, if twins, I’d love to have a girl and a boy. In reality, I just want healthy babies, no matter the gender or count.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case a picture is worth 265 hcg. Taken this morning, a couple of hours before going in for my blood hcg that came back this afternoon at 265.

So yes, dear blog readers it looks like I might have done it this time. I’m sorry for being a bit vague a couple of days ago when I posted about testing early. The test actually showed a faint line. I nearly fainted. Since I had never seen a line before I was stunned. I have never seen a line in either a hpt or opk. I’ve held them to light and looked at them under microscopes but no line. Until this time. And while it was faint, it was there. The camera did not capture it well, but trust me, there is a line. (Follow the links to see the older pee sticks)

Because I was still in disbelief, but wanting to save my other FR test for the next morning, I went to the Tesco and bought a cheap-o test (under $3), hoping I could figure out enough of the Czech to know what to do (what’s there to do, pee on a stick and check for lines). It was another faint line, but it was also mid-afternoon 5dp5dt.

The next day, the line was still faint, but definitely darker. I felt a bit elated heading home on the plane. But of course, worried and concerned.

So then, 1 week after the transfer, I got a line dark enough to start to feel a bit confident. Actually, I did two. In part because I wanted to try a different brand, and in part because I originally woke up at 1:30 (jet lag and pee need) and then another at a normal wake-up time of 6am

After some board encouragement, I decided not to wait until the 14 days after transfer for my beta, besides I was getting very nervous and wanted confirmation. So, I took another test around dinner time (I told you I was addicted) and the line was as dark as a dark line can be. No need for a picture. It looked a lot like the one in the morning.

This morning, before going to the lab for blood work, I pulled out the CB Digital. I had been saving this one, hoping to have used it last cycle, hoping to be able to use it before it expired in 2009. I peed. It said results normally within 3 minutes. Less than 60 seconds later, it said “pregnant”/”Enceinte”. (hmmm too bad I couldn't find one with the Czech word for pregnant)

So then I spent the rest of the day, waiting for the doctor to call. Trying to focus on work. Eventually, I moved into a meeting room so I could call the Dr in private. They couldn’t find the results, so I had to wait while they called the lab. But it was so worth the wait.

So what next? Beta 2 is going to be on Thursday. For the few out there not immersed in TTC terminology, a beta value should double in 48-72 hours. So for me this means that on Thursday, my number should be no less than 425, hopefully more than 530. My progesterone and estrogen levels will also be checked. Since this was a donor cycle, my hormones were blocked and are now be artificially maintained.

Then I’ll see my Dr early next week for my first prenatal exam. We’ll probably do another beta after that, just to see (more on why in a bit).

Then likely nothing until week 7 (after Nov 11) when I can go for an U/S that would show the heartbeat and count the number of growing fetus’. Yes, count the number. While there could be only one, the beta value I have now is quite high for a singleton. From a beta database, the average hcg for a singleton where I am, which is the equivalent of 13dpo is 68. Mine is just a teeny-tiny bit higher. For twins the average is 120 and for…gulp….triplets+ it’s 184. I have 265. Now that is just an average and there are upper end values near mine in singletons (not many, but some).

I’m happy, stunned and shocked. No matter how many little ones are growing in me, I want a safe pregnancy and I want them to be born healthy. That’s a long way away. Right now, I’m 4w0d. If there is just one, the estimated due date is July 1st/June 30th. If there are multiples, then it would be earlier (probably by June 10). I read somewhere once that more twins were born under the sign of Gemini, than any other astrological sign. I’m a Gemini – we are very compatible with other Gemini.

Twins. Oh God. So I’m on a serious budget now. I was going to have to some major budgeting with one, but with the chance of more than one, I’m looking at possible bed rest and an early delivery, not to mention a few more expenses early on and double the day care when I go back to work and eventually moving to a bigger place. So, no discretionary income anymore. I have a few things I’ve committed to in the next couple of months that I’ll follow through, but that is it. Nothing more. And I have to downsize the clutter. Big time down sizing.

For those who know me IRL, this information is still totally confidential. I don’t know when I’ll tell ‘people’. The rate of MC right now is very high. It goes down a bit after seeing the heartbeats, but most people put a marker in after the first trimester, after week 13. Depending on which calculator I use, this is Dec 13 or Dec 26 or Jan 4. I think I’d like to tell people at Christmas. Then again, I may just blurt it out before that.

Okay, enough verbiage. Time to go home and walk dogs.

Another reminder to those IRL, if you call me during the day, I am at work. Other people can hear what I say. I am not going to talk about this over the phone if I’m at work. Enough said.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

fly-by post 5dp5dt

It's my last night in Prague and I have a few more things to see before I leave tomorrow morning. I've had a great time and while I wish I had more time, I will be glad to be home. I will admit that this was has been a great way to pass one of the weeks in the two week wait.
I promise I'll do a full travel blog one day when I'm back. It should get me through another night of the 2WW.
Yes it is early, it's is very early to be testing or even thinking about it. The tests are notoriously unreliable this early. But what can I say, I'm an addict. I think there should be a 12 step support group. "Hi, my name is Selmada and I pee on sticks" So, knowing it was too early, I POAS today. Oh well. There is always tomorrow.
Thanks for the great words of support.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Settling in (2dp5dt)

I will post more about the vacation side of this when I am back home. For now, the DE side (oh and excuse the lack of proper punctuation, I still havent figured out this keyboard and the spell checker wont fix it for me)...
The transfer was Monday. They transfered 2 grade 1 hatching blastocysts and 1 grade 1 blastocyst (that from what i could see on the screen was also starting to hatch by transfer time). They were perfect, lets hope one or two decide to stick around. My lining was just over 19mm, triple striped, about as perfect as it gets.
It was a very busy time that day, with 8 donor egg transfers and quite a few other surgeries. But we were all treated well, although there were long waits.
Since then, Ive felt the odd twinge and pull, but dont know if they mean anything. Since at least 2 were hatching, Im not sure if they could have already started to implant or not. I hope so. I dont have the strong progesterone cramps that I did the last cycle. I dont know if that is good or not.
I waver between sure it was all good and sure it wasnt that somehow they fell out or something. sigh. I am supposed to wait and test on the 27th. I dont know if i can wait that long.

I had another problem transfer, but not quite the same as last time. If you are at all squeemish about womens bodies or pain, stop reading now......okay here goes
Unlike last time, he was able to find my cervix without switching to the gyn bed. But when he found it, it seems that the endo had taken over and mostly blocked the entire cervix with adhesions. He had to cut and pull to forcably remove the adhesions. I wont lie, that hurt, lots. But the embryos went in and the catether came out clean, so my lining was fine. He said there would be blood from where the adhesions were removed and there was along with some other liquidy stuff. By the next morning it was fine. I think I have the start of a UTI now though, which happens when people poke around down below with me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good so far

This will be a short one. I am at an internet cafe and want to go to the zoo later.

8 eggs were fertilized. This is one more than last time, but we will see how many make it to transfer. I wont transfer less than I did last time, which was 3. My lining was a whopping 18mm and the progesterone will make it even thicker. Speaking of the progesterone, the new doctor changed the protocol slightly to just using utrogaston, but more of it. Progesterone puts me to sleep. I am taking a couple of extra naps each day. I cant help it. I only hope I dont fall asleep at the zoo.

The pension is still great. I got a room with a kitchen this time, so along with a fridge and kettle, I have a microwave and hotplate. So unlike last time, its not all fried cheese for food. Also, there are now 2 english movie channels and a couple of music video channels. There is only one other couple there though and I really miss the commeraderie of the group from the summer.

Oh well. I am off for now. Transfer is Monday. I am not sure if I will post again before that. We will see.

Weather is great. I will go enjoz it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm leaving, on a jet plane

Tickets - check
Meds - check
Passport - check
Book - check
Phrase book - Czech
Sanity - not so sure

In a couple of hours I leave for the Czech Republic, via Amsterdam. To say I have reached panic state would be an understatement. To most people, I look calm, sane and collected, but inside I'm a total mess. I know I'll calm down a bit once I have the first appointment on Wednesday and get the fert report. But now, not so calm.
The service I go through for translation, clinic bookings etc, somehow mixed up the dates for when I need to get picked up in Prague. They were waiting for me at the airport today. Yikes. I checked and I had written confirmation for the 7th. Then, when checking last night for my flight status, the same flight I'm taking today, was delayed 3 hours yesterday! I don't have 3 hours between flights. Please be on time today. Please, please be on time.
The bus to the airport used to come to a couple of hotels nearby (2-3 blocks). But that route got cancelled. Now I have to take the city buys downtown so I can catch the airport bus. Or pay a small mint and take a cab. I could do city bus the whole way, but it involves 3 buses and I have transferring and I have luggage to lug.
I worked out a 'schedule' of how to concert my meds over while travelling and still keeping the 'take in the morning', 'take on an empty stomach','take with food','take 4 hours before any vitamins' rules without doubling up too soon or missing a dose of something. I'll have to do the reverse on the way back.
Dogs have figured out something is up. I cant even shift my position while sitting without them coming running (well, they are sleeping next to me, so they don't have far to run). They are the other reason for stress. I have a great friend K, who will be staying to take care of them and the cat while I'm gone. I know they will get great care, but that doesn't stop me from stressing about it. The fur kids are the only kids I have right now.
Okay, must go finish the few last minute things and keep busy so I don't stress.
Watch this spot for updates. I'm not taking my laptop to save on weight of luggage on the way back. Puts me dependent on Internet cafes so not sure how frequent the updates will be.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thick, thick

Today was my lining check before I head to CZ.

For those who don't know me IRL, I have a teeny, tiny bladder. I also seem to process fluids very quickly. I usually cant make it through a movie and definitely not through the night.

I don't know how it works elsewhere, but even though I only needed the lining check, the clinic has to do a full check. I've learnt (the hard way) that even thought the U/S clinic wants me to drink 2 litres of water 2 hours before my appointment, that is not going to work for me. So today, I made a last minute trip to the bathroom an hour before my appointment. I had a modest 1 litre of water in the cab on the way over. I was so full, I really hoped they weren't running behind. I was in luck and they actually took me in earlier.

I was already overfull on my bladder so she gave me the cup and let me practice that joy of only letting a 'little' out. Grr. I made it through the abdominal check and had to empty out for my date with the dildo-cam. Ever so joyful. She had to hurry that part up too, because, surprise, surprise, my bladder was already filling up again and making it hard to read. Luckily I made it through and while I wiped the goop off and out of me, she passed the scans onto the doctor..

The Doctor dictated the results and faxed them to my Dr (they cant give them to me directly). She was off today, but her receptionist called me because she figured I'd know which part of the report was needed. I'm happy to say I outdid myself. My lining, with 10 days until transfer is 12mm and the report said 'very nicely triple striped'. 12!!! Last time, at this point it was 9.5, also a good figure, up to almost 14 at transfer. I'm a bit concerned that it's going to be too thick, but I've heard back from CZ and its fine.

So, I think its safe to say at this point that growing a lining is not one of my issues. Now I just hope the embryos enjoy the comfy home.

I have 3 more sleeps before my flight (if I sleep). On Monday, its a 12.5 hour trip (including one short transfer) to Prague (where it will be Tuesday aft). This is followed by a 3-4 hour drive to Zlin. I'll see the Dr on Wed, get another lining check and find out how many eggs were retrieved. I also start progesterone. Then I get to play tourist until a 5 day transfer on Monday. I'll get 1-2 reports on how the embies are growing in between so I should have a good idea of what to expect on the 13th.

I requested the 13th for the transfer in part because its a holiday and it required one less vacation day, but also because its Thanksgiving (Canadian) and I really want something to give thanks for. For those in Canada, celebrating Turkeyday this year, before dinner, give a little thought my way please.

I made it to the early polls today to vote, so that is one more thing off my list.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act

The following post was copied from Antigone's blog. If you'd like to help raise awareness please copy this from here or there and post on your site, too.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day: Take Action

October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day in the United States. More than 25,000 children are stillborn in the United States every year leaving mothers, entire families and communities devastated. Estimates of the rate of occurrence of stillbirth make it at least as common as autism.

Stillbirth is not an intractable problem. Greater research would likely significantly reduce its incidence, but good research requires good data. H.R. 5979: Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act is under consideration by Congress. This proposed bill would standardize stillbirth investigation and diagnosis, thus providing more data for the needed research. Better research means fewer children born still.

On October 15th, remember the thousands of unfinished children lost and the families who remain to grieve them. Honor them by taking action. Let's help pass H.R. 5979.

Action Steps:

Step 1. Use Your Blog to Enlist Others-Copy the contents of this entire post and publish it on your blog immediately.

GOAL: Enlist 10 of your readers to spread the word

Step 2. Use Your E-mail to Enlist Others-E-mail 5 bloggers and ask them (nicely and in an unspammy way) to publish these action steps on their blog. Consider contacting celebrity bloggers, political bloggers, medical bloggers, or bloggers who are not part of your reading community.

GOAL: Enlist 3 bloggers outside of your normal blog sphere to spread the word in other online communities.

Step 3. Help Pass the Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act-By October 15th, publish a post on your blog supporting H.R. 5979 Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act. For maximum impact, title your post: "Stillbirth Awareness and Research Act."

GOAL: 1,000,000 Google results on October 15th when that term is searched for. Currently, Google only returns 20,400 pages - most of which have nothing to do with the bill.

This bill is an American Innitiative, but losses affect women all over the world, including in Canada. Its not been lost on me that I'll be entering my 2ww when on Oct 15th.