March 31, 2010

It's the End of the World as We Know it, and I Feel Fine

Glad we had a "not medically necessary" sonogram

Last week Mr. Hopeful bud and I showed up at our doctors office for a 3D/4D sonogram. I had to sign a waiver that said this procedure was "not medically necessary" and would not be turned into insurance. Mr. HB was excited to see our little girl again, but didn't really care if we had this sonogram or not. However, me being the over protective mother already, wanted to take every opportunity offered to see Baby Hopeful Bud before she arrived. When I first laid down, Baby HB decided it would be funny to have her umbilical cord all around her face, so we couldn't get a clear picture of her at all. So the ultrasound tech told me to walk around, drink some cold water and Mr. HB told me to do some jumping jacks. All of which I did in hopes that she would move around and we could get a clearer pictures. Well her umbilical cord moved out of the way, but it was replaced by her hands directly in front of her face. Mr. HB said she was being "stubborn like her mom." I said she is just being shy. We got a couple good pictures, even with her hands up by her face. We counted 10 fingers and 10 toes. She has the most adorable little button nose and mouth. The tech thought that it looked like she had some hair on her head. She weighed approximately 3 pounds and 1 ounce and all of her measurements were proportional. She had a heartrate of 148. All signs were pointing to the fact that she is perfect. We left with huge smiles on our faces and some adorable photos of her.

The next morning one of the nurses from the doctor's office called and said that one of the doctors reviewed Baby HB's sonogram and found fluid on her kidney so they were referring us to a Perinatal specialist for a Level 2 sonogram. My heart sank as tears swelled in my eyes. The nurse kept saying that I shouldn't be worried, that it was just a little bit of fluid, but I couldn't really comprehend what she was saying. She had already called the specialist's office and set up an appointment for us on April 15th. I thanked her and again she told me not to worry. Unfortunately instead of not worrying, I turned to Google. Big mistake!! Needless to say I was reading worst case scenarios and started having alot of questions and concerns. I called the nurse back and she called another specialist office and got our appointment moved up to April 7th (tomorrow). I have been very calm and confident this whole week and weekend leading up to tomorrow, until this evening. Now I'm getting a bit weepy. Here are a couple of the options that could be the reason for the fluid in Baby HB's kidney: 1) Best case scenario is that is is nothing and that she just forgot to pee that morning, 2) her urinary tract has not developed properly, or 3) there was a kink in her urinary tract caused by the way she was positioned that caused the fluid build up. In her past sonograms the tech has mentioned that she has a good level of amniotic fluid around her, so that is a good sign.

Our appointment is at 1:30 pm tomorrow, so many prayers will be said between now and then. Hopefully it is just a precaution and it's nothing. If the sonogram shows more fluid and the cause of it, then we will be more prepared on what to anticipate come delivery day. Either way, we get to see precious Baby HB for the fourth time tomorrow and for that I am excited and very blessed. Again, hopefully this will be the last time until she graces us with her presence in June.

I'll keep you posted on the outcome.

Stay hopeful!
:) Hopeful bud

March 30, 2010

Our 2nd peek at baby Worry Bud!

This past Friday we had our follow up ultrasound at my RE's office. Baby WB was sooo much bigger than last time! Here is our beautiful little one at 7w6d:

Call me crazy, but I think it looks more like a baby - I can see the head & the shadows were the eyes are/will be! The u/s tech also showed us a view from the back of the baby (no pic) & you could see his teeny, little arms & legs sticking out from the sides of his body. OMG, it was so cute & so amazing. Also, we immediately saw his big heart beating nice & strong - 157 bpm! The Dr. & u/s tech said s/he is measuring exactly where he needs to be right now & I got officially released from my RE. It's bittersweet b/c I know that I am only able to move on to my OB b/c Baby WB is doing so good, but also a little sad b/c I know I won't get the same level of care at my OB's office. It's just impossible at a normal OB's office. I like my OB/GYN & all, but it's just not the same. I felt really close to my RE & my nurse & everyone in the office knew's just different. They told me to keep in touch & asked us to send along the baby's birth announcement when s/he is born. They also gave me a form to send in with information about the baby & my delivery to keep their information accurate/up to date. As far as meds - I started a reduced dose of the Estradiol on Saturday (1 pill per day) & continue that thru April 10th @ 10 weeks; then the Endometrin inserts also continue twice a day until April 1oth.

I have my first normal OB appointment tomorrow morning, but I was told it's just an intake appointment with a nurse. She is going to go over Dos & Don'ts of pregnancy, ask questions about my/Mr. Worry Bud's family history, I can ask any questions I have, etc. Then at my next appointment, I'll see the Nurse Practitioner, who will do my annual Pap (it was due in May anyways), listen for the heart beat with the Doppler, etc. I can't wait to hear the h/b - we have only seen it, which I'm sure is just as sweet, but hearing it is also amazing I bet. After that appointment, I'll actually start seeing the OB's during my monthly appointments. There are 3 in my Dr's office & you have to see each of them throughout your pregnancy just in case one who isn't your primary is on call the day you go into labor/are induced.

Today, I am 8w3d & am still nervous & think I'll remain that way until we get out of the 1st tri. I know stuff can happen after that time & I know that the chance of miscarriage after seeing the h/b drops to between 2-5%, but IDK...the 1st tri is just so filled with nervousness & worry, especially for a Worry Bud like me! I can't wait for everything to come - hearing the h/b for the first time, finding out the sex, getting a bump, designing a nursery, shopping for the baby's stuff, registering for/having a baby shower, and of course - finally getting to meet our precious LO. I still continue to pray everyday that our baby continues to do well & grow big & strong, so that we can meet him/her in November! An by the grace of God - so far , so good & we couldn't be more thrilled!! We even told a few more family members & close friends/co-workers! We are waiting to really tell everyone until after the 1st tri is over, which will be later NEXT MONTH!! Can you believe quickly time has flown?! I hope it keeps flying fast so that we get to meet Baby WB ASAP! Thanks as always for all the continued T&P! I will update again later this week or early next about tomorrow's visit.

March 29, 2010

24 weeks.....V-day

Well I've been a bad bud and haven't update in a while. That's wht happens when life gets in the way!

Anyway, I'm back :)

Today I make 24 weeks. The arrival of this milestone came with a huge sigh of relief.
V-day. And no, that doesn't mean Valentine's Day. V-DAY at 24 weeks actually refers to Viability Day. This means that if the baby were to be born now, they would have a chance at survival, although they would spend much time in the NICU. This is just such a blessing to know that we are getting so much closer to meeting this baby and that everyday this baby has a better chance at being born healthy.
Baby LB is moving so much more now. It's amazing. Very strange feeling but amazing all the same. Saturday night and this morning he actually kicked so hard it made my stomach move.

We've gotten a lot accomplished in terms of getting ready for baby.
The bedding was already purchased by Baby LB's great-grandparents....
Dwell Studio for Target Space Baby

Last week we ordered.....
The crib: Peyton Classic Crib by Bonavita

The dresser/changer combo: Peyton Combo by Bonavita

The cover for our Bugaboo Cameleon stroller: Paul Frank Skurvy

We also, bought the paint for the nursery. Silly Litle Blue Birds & Space Hero Blue from the Behr Disney Collection and a decal from Etsy to match the rockets on the bedding. We also picked up some extra shelving for the closet and some little accessories. I scored my diaper bag that I wanted which matches the stroller at Marshalls for $29. It was $80 at BBB. We purchased the Boppy that matches the bedding as well. Not to mention the baby has a ridiculous wardrobe thanks to his auntie and grandma.

Mr. LB is painting and putting up the chair rail on Wednesday. The furniture should be here some time in May. Hopefully.

Baby shower plans are coming along. The invites will go out within the next week.

Things are definitely coming along. It's really amazing how fast the time flies :) We have our 24 week appointment with the OB on Thursday and I'm looking forward to that.

Well that's all for now. I'm hoping tht I'll be able to update much more regularly now.

Lets talk about cravings

So I have hit 14 weeks! Yay! I'm so excited. I never thought the 2nd trimester would be here. Everything seems to be going great. We had an NT scan on last Tuesday. Seems my cervix and the baby are measuring great. Little one is measuring just a little ahead but thats fine with me! Our scan went well. No news is good news says the nurse and the U/S tech said everything looked good.

Whew! Not that I was really worried about it. We just wanted to be prepared if anything was alarming. The nurse did tell me that I needed to eat. Really? No one in my entire life has told me to eat. I normally have NO problem stuffing my face with food. I have problem LOSING weight.

However, it seems little jelly bean is taking all my nutrients and having a feast! My appetite has changed so much since I have gotten pregnant.

For the first time last week I felt hunger again. Normally I just feel nausea. Its so odd. I just can't eat alot. If I do I'm regretting it. I had one slice of pizza the other day and felt like I had eaten the entire pizza! Its so different.

Now lets talk about these cravings I have. At first all I wanted were hamburgers. Hamburgers, Burgers, and more burgers. I just couldn't get enough.

Now I love chickfila nuggets. Or any kind of nuggets. However JUST nuggets. I hate hate hate any other kind of chicken. GROSS!

I'm also on a fruit kick. I don't know what it is something about fruit I just want to eat! Yum! Now last week I really wanted pineapple REALLY bad.

Did I get pineapple? Well not really. I did run to the grocery store and I came out with the following:

Lemon Meringue Pie
Peanuts in the shell
Candied Pecans
Lays potato chips
Reese Pieces

Notice there is no pineapple in the list. Why did I get most of this stuff? Hell if I know. I just felt like I needed it. Sigh I didn't think my cravings were that bad until I saw what I bought at the grocery store.

Oh and on Saturday night at 10 apparently, I'm not the only one craving a Taco Bell taco. Apparently there are others like me out there!

And for fun!

March 28, 2010

Getting my gums ready for pregnancy

Last week I went to the dentist, always an anxiety-ridden experience for me. I have very sensitive teeth and touchy gums, and after a root canal, a handful of crowns, gum lengthening procedures and more cavities than I can count, I take that chair with a grain of salt whenever my annual cleaning comes around.

Luckily, I am in love with my new dentist, and more specifically, my new dental hygienist. During our exam, we discussed my gum health, which isn't optimal, to say the least. Gum disease runs in my family, and since coming off BCP, the gum bleeding has gotten ridiculous at certain point in my cycle. My good friend Google has already told me that there are hormonal ties here, so I discussed this with the hygienist in light of my TTC efforts. And the hygienist confirmed it with my x-rays: pockets of bacteria are forming between my gums and teeth, and we need to stop this process before it advances.

It turns out that periodontal disease is a major risk factor for pregnancy complications like early labor and low birth rate. In fact, women with gums like mine are seven times more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. The American Academy of Periodentology says: "It appears that periodontal disease triggers increased levels of biological fluids that induce labor. Furthermore, data suggests that women whose periodontal condition worsens during pregnancy have an even higher risk of having a premature baby." (Source: Yikes!

So I'm taking steps to get my gums in order while I'm still in the TTC camp. Over the next month, I'll have ultrasonic deep gum cleaning, where a waterpik-like device is used to root into my gumline and flush out any bacteria that's hiding down there. I'm also developing a newfound love for my electric toothbrush - TWICE daily. Anything that I can do to help my body become a happy and healthy home for the baby-to-be, I'm all for it.

Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise

The IVF 2ww is unlike any other.

Not only are you dealing with the regular 2ww type things, but you're actually injecting your body and taking pills with EXTRA hormones to further convince your body what you already know:
You're pregnant until proven otherwise. It makes things harder than I can explain.

And, 8dp3dt (= 11DPO) I think I'm hitting the wall.

The past couple of days have been REALLY hard. I keep searching for something to definitively tell me that I'm pregnant or not (short of POAS, because that's not an option). I've cried only a little bit. I tried to get squeezed in at my IF therapist, but she can't fit me in before beta.

I've been positive this whole time. I hardly even thought of the "what if". Now it's all I'm thinking about.

All I can think of is what happened last time. We got the phone call, and my husband came home from work, because he could hear it in my voice on the phone, and he didn't want me to be in the house by myself. And I just cried for HOURS.

That's all I can think about now... is how I was after that phone call.

So, someone give me something to grab onto until beta - because I HATE feeling how I feel right now. I want to go back to 2 days ago, when I was Joe Positive.

I don't like being this scared little girl, hoping that I'm pregnant.

Those 2 nearly perfect embryos... if this doesn't work.... I just can't imagine.

March 27, 2010


CD33 and I still haven't ovulated.

I guess this puts me back in the long-cycle club. I have been teased by a few small temp rises, only to be let down the next morning when it drops again. This is really hindering my progress with my TTC plan, since I have to wait until CD1 to schedule my HSG. As I mentioned in my previous entry, Mr. Sassy Bud is also waiting to do his S/A until then. I like to call this TTC limbo.

Yep that's me. Somewhere between TTC heaven and hell.

I sit and hope for a BFP to end this craziness but I also am trying to be realistic to avoid the roller-coaster of emotions when AF comes. And she does. Every month.

Non-TTC life is good. Once this school term and tax season are over, I'm going to visit my sister and nieces and nephew in Texas. We are also celebrating our anniversary and Mr. Sassy Bud's birthday by taking a trip to Atlantic City and New York City. I have never been to either place so I am very excited to be able to go. I am also going to visit one of my "nestie besties" while I am there, so that is something great to look forward to.

Until then, I wait, and wait, and wait.

March 26, 2010

Morning Sickness is Finally Here

I was in the shower this morning getting ready to go to the OB for my Progesterone Injection and another beta draw and suddenly I felt..... queasy. Oh MAN. I made it through my shower, got dressed and couldn't manage anything else. To the toilet I went. Luckily, I didn't have anything in my stomach yet.

I have to tell you, I am SO happy to have morning sickness! I welcome it with open arms, if that means I get to bring home a baby in 8 months!

Update on Baby Hopeful Bud

First off, I apologize for being a bad blogger. I really have no good reason, I've kept up on following the blog and all the other Buds, but didn't feel as though I had much to contribute. I've been in the third trimester for a couple weeks now, so we are just preparing for Baby Hopeful Buds arrival in early June.

The last time I blogged, I was educating myself on what a low-lying placenta was, and the chances of it moving out of the way of my cervix on its own so that we wouldn't have to have a scheduled C-Section. We had our follow-up sonogram last week and am thrilled to report that "the placenta has left the cervix!" The ultrasound tech said that they like the placenta to be at least 2 cm away from the cervix and mine was well beyond that. Woo hoo!!! Here are a couple pictures of Baby HB. She looks absolutely perfect. Next week we are getting one of those fancy 3D/4D sonograms, so I'll post more pics then.

Mr. Hopeful Bud and I also took our Birthing Class last weekend. Mr. HB was very nervous about going. When he would tell his friends that are fathers what we were doing they would all just smile and give an evil laugh, so he was a bit anxious to learn what they were smirking about. We both loved the class. The ladies that taught the class are actual labor and delivery nurses and they were so sweet and comforting. We learned a lot and saw a lot! I had no idea that when you get an epidural a catheter stays in your back. I just thought is was a single shot and you were good to go. So learning that once you get an epidural you are confined to a bed was a bit eye opening. I was impressed with the philosophy of the Birthing Center that we will be going to. They stressed the importance of not staying in bed and instead walking around, using the birthing ball, squatting bar or spa room. The birthing suites were incredible as well. Very comfortable and relaxing. I left the class feeling so much more calm and confident about the whole birthing process. The only part of the day that really got to Mr. HB and made his breathing increase a bit was when they were showing a video animation of a C-Section. Mr. HB started breathing really heavy when they were showing two hands go inside the incision and pull the muscles apart. Other then that he was a great support and coach.

Also at my 29 week appointment last week, I had the glucose test to test for Gestational Diabetes. The fruit punch drink that I was given wasn't too bad. It was very sweet and made me make a couple funny faces as I drank it, but it wasn't terrible. The doctor said they would call if I failed and I haven't received a call, so I guess I passed!! Another Woo hoo!!

Baby HB is very active these days. It feels as though she is doing full somersaults because my whole stomach moves. I can't wait to meet her. Now I just need to get Mr. HB motivated to work on her nursery. We have the crib, bedding and paint, but the paint isn't on the walls yet.

I think that's about it. I'll post more pics next week after our sonogram.

Take care and stay hopeful!
:) Hopeful Bud

Over analyzing

I'm really really really trying not to think too hard on this but I'm having these on and off cramps in my lower abdominal and if I stretch too fast it feels like I'm pulling a muscle. I keep thinking maybe I am pregnant, but then I also keep thinking that maybe its my body still recovering from the bacteria/uti... Ugh...

Today I received my Cheap internet pregnancy tests and as of today its a - (but its still way too early).

Have a great weekend, hopefully Monday will bring better news,

March 25, 2010

Not a Goodbye, but See You Later

I will be the first to admit that I haven't been around much. The past few weeks have been a bit crazy, both with TTC and just our lives in general. We've had two weddings, a shower and bachelorette party (that I planned and hosted), a bad car accident and having to buy a new car, crazy work schedules and trying to sell our house. Oh yeah, and IUI #2. Needless to say, I feel like we've been spinning in circles. And the trying to conceive part hasn't gone too well.

Photo Credit

In my last post, I talked about my injection class. I learned how to use the follistim pen, and was gearing up for my first injectable cycle. I will say now that the follistim injections were a piece of cake, and after the first couple of days I couldn't even feel the needle when I gave myself the shot. I ended up doing six days of shots, and at my final ultrasound I was told that I had five mature follicles. Yes, you read that correctly...FIVE mature follicles. The nurse said that my RE would cancel my IUI cycle if we had six follicles, but with five the choice was mine to continue or cancel. Mr. Chef Bud and I had many conversations about our options, and I talked to a close friend that has dealt with IF, and we decided to continue with the cycle. I didn't want to look back and have any regrets. I triggered, had a lining that was thicker than ever before (7.4), had 37 million sperm post wash with five follicles. Everything was lining up for a perfect cycle and a BFP...

Until AF arrived. I started my period 9 dpIUI, and honestly, I was devastated. If 37 million sperm and five follicles couldn't produce one baby, there had to be something else going on. I stayed home from work on Monday to get myself together and made an appointment with my RE for Tuesday to talk about what happened and what to do next.

She had no explanation for why it didn't work, which is what I expected with an unexplained diagnosis. What she did suggest is for us to move on to IVF. The way she explained it was that she would have more control with IVF, and would be able to look at other factors including egg quality and fertilization to see if those might be something that is affecting our ability to get pregnant. I understand the rationale behind moving to IVF, but I will be honest when I say that I was really scared. I just never thought I would be at this point, and it was really hard to deal with. Mr. CB had a really hard time with it, especially the financial aspect. He is the money man at our house, and thinking about the cost associated with IVF just blew his mind. We knew we definitely had some long converstions ahead of us.

Photo Credit

We ultimately decided that we needed to move forward in our journey to start a family, but we needed to be financially smart as well. Lucky for us, our clinic offers what is called a split donor cycle. Basically, we will be matched up with another couple who needs an egg donor. I will do an IVF cycle and donate half of my eggs to this couple, and in return I will have a reduced rate for my cycle. In my eyes, this is a win-win situation. Mr. CB and I are able to pay about half of what a standard IVF cycle costs (really important since we are 100% OOP) and we are also able to help another couple whose only shot at having their own child is with an egg donor. I feel very strongly about this since I have seen firsthand on my message board the heartache that women face when they are told that their own eggs are not good enough to create their baby.

Right now we have filled out the donor paperwork, I have talked to the coordinator and we are waiting for them to go over my chart and decide if we are accepted. Once we get the approval, we have to make sure we have all the preliminary testing done, and then we wait for a match. To be matched, a couple has to choose our profile as their donor. It is all anonymous, and I've been told it takes 2-3 months. Once a match has been made, we will do genetic and psychological testing and if all looks good, the recipient and I will go on BCP's to make sure our cycles coincide and then we are on our way. I am hopeful that we will be on our IVF journey sometime this summer. That thought is both exciting and scary.

I have decided that for the next couple of months I will take a break from the blog. We won't be doing much other than waiting to be accepted and then to be matched, and I think it's important for me to focus on other aspects of my life. I have pushed so many things to the back burner since I've been TTC, and now that I have a plan in place and know I have a break ahead of me, I think I should focus on some of those things that have fallen by the wayside. I hope that you will still be interested in my story when I return, and I promise that as soon as I have a match and my IVF cycle is underway (hopefully soon!) that I will be back to let you all know what the process is like. Thank you so much for all of your support and love as Mr. CB and I embark on this next part of our journey!

March 24, 2010

IVF #2: 2 Week Wait Update

Who wants good news?

It's too early for a pregnancy test - so relax you crazies....

I'm 4dp3dt (7dpo) and I did have ONE blood test today. My progesterone level. The embryologist (Dr. S) who "made" my embryos was doing the blood draws today, so I took the opportunity to discuss their fabulosity (or at least 2 out of 3 of them).

She was VERY happy with our embryos. She even took it another step to explain the "compacting" 8 cell to me, and confirm that it did mean that my little embryo was indeed at least 1/2 day ahead in growth and that it was a good sign for continued growth upon transfer.

But for now, let's rewind for a minute to the abysmal cycle #1, shall we?

This time 3 months ago, I was miserable. My progesterone level was 26 and change, and that wasn't high enough for Dr Z, even though I had heard that for a medicated cycle, 25 was acceptable. So, I was started on vag chalk: Endometrin suppositories 3 times a day, in addition to my daily PIO (Progesterone in Oil) injection.

I wasn't pregnant - so it didn't matter.

Today, I got home from my blood draw with a question.

So I went to my infertility gurus (the girls who have gone before me) and asked the question:

How significant is the P4 right now? Last cycle it was 26.something at this time, and I wound up on endometrin 3x day in addition to the PIO. But I also wasn't pregnant.
If my P4 isn't up to par, does it mean i'm not pregnant? Or can you have a lowish P4 at this point and still wind up pregnant?

I got a really good answer from one of the girls, and I hope she doesn't mind me quoting her here, because I am sure that some of the girls who follow me might have the same questions.

"My RE likes to see P4 above 40 for an IVF cycle. He likes it higher that IUI cycles since the entire IVF process is so unnatural (I hate that word but don't know what else to use). His practice believes that since eggs are not rupturing out of follicles on their own, the chance of your corpus luteum (sp?) producing enough progesterone to signal your body to prepare for pregnancy is slim.

Thus P4 being monitored and supplements being increased if you are not where they like to see you.
With that said, my RE told me (b/c he knows I worry about every.little.thing) that he has seem many, many IVF cycles with less than stellar progesterone go on to produce perfectly healthy pregnancies." - LCB34
quote credit

Well, that said, Dr Z wanted to see me above 30 last cycle, which explains the supplements he then put me on.

I guess the good news I'm alluding to is that right now, there's no vag chalk for me. My progesterone is 44.3!!

That's right - i said 44.3!!

So, the plan for now is just do what i've been doing, and return to the office one week from today for my beta.

As far as symptoms... there are some things i'm desperately trying to not over analyze. Things outside of the 2ww norm for me. One friend tells me that "new" or "different" is good. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed.

If I get good news again next week, then i'll tell all - but for right now, and the slim possibility I have of NOT sounding crazy, i'm going to keep the symptoms to myself.

All I can do now is continue hoping that the good news keeps coming. I'm VERY hopeful and positive right now. I'm just so scared that I shouldn't feel that way - because last time is still VERY raw in my head. Does that make any sense?

March 23, 2010

There's a baby growing inside me!

BFP: 3.16.2010
3.17.2010 - 14 DPO: hCG: 17, Progesterone: 15
3.19.2010 - 16 DPO: hCG: 45
3.22.2010 - 19 DPO: hCG: 299!!

There's a growing baby inside me! My progesterone isn't quiet where the OB wants it to be, so I get a shot in my booty every week, but thats okay with me! I think we'll do my last draw on Friday when I go in for my injection.

I had a little bit of brown spotting yesterday, but that has since stopped and I am no longer worried sick.

4 weeks 5 days along :D I should be getting an ultrasound either end of next week or beginning of the week after.

March 22, 2010

You've Been Served!!!

Yup... it's official. The eviction notice is being served... Sunday March 28th we go in to be induced. That is - if Baby GB doesn't make an appearance before then.

I had my 39 week appointment today - everything looks good! BP was normal, heart rate was a little slower than normal but he was also in the middle of a nap I think so Dr. C wasn't concerned. While there's not really too much more progress going on down there... still not dilating however he's lower and things are starting to open up and soften - she gave us two options:

Option 1) Be admitted to the hospital on Sunday night to administer Cervadil and then on Monday morning I get PITOCIN!!! :) Landon would probably be born sometime Monday afternoon or early Tuesday depending on how well my body takes to the Pitocin.

Option 2) Get scheduled for an early Monday morning appointment with Dr. C to see if anything else is progressing... if not... be scheduled for induction on Wednesday or Thursday anyway?!

Option 3) Wait it out... I'm adding this because it technically is an option but it's not one of MY options :) I'm not willing to wait longer than next week. Call me selfish... but I'm done.

I think we are going to choose option 1... what's 3 or 4 days anyway when I'll already be 40 weeks at that point??? Mr. GB is a little leery of using more drugs than is necessary (yes, I'm getting the epidural - I'm not even going to lie!) but with no progress at this point it kind of looks like we'd be induced either way. I know I know, things can change at a moments notice and Dr. C is hopeful that he'll decide to make an appearance on his own in the next week but we'll see. I have to call tomorrow and let her know what we decide!

The Cruel 2WW

And we are officially in the 2 Week Wait that we all who are TTC love so much... not! I hate how any symptom that I have I think its because I might be pregnant. Even though I had a UTI the day before I O'ed I think (hope) we still have a chance.

Here is this month's chart

And here are my two BFP charts

I started to use the progesterone (Crinone 8%) that the RE prescribed at 3 DPO and am praying this is our cycle...

March 21, 2010

How About a Fertilization/Transfer All-In-One?

I realize I never blogged about an egg retrieval. There's a reason for it. They hurt like a motherless goat, and i'm really not myself for a few days after. Maybe one day I will... but typically by the time I feel like getting back online after an egg retrieval, i have more news to share...

Enter the fertilization (fert) report.

Or actually this time... don't.

The only phone call I got this time was that fertilization had occurred. I didn't get any details, despite numerous requests. I was really upset. I cried a lot. I pictured a lot of worst case scenarios. But then I thought about last time... when Dr Z called us himself to tell us about the abysmality of our fert report.

But, I guessed that hearing from Nurse F and not Dr Z had to be a good sign.
Even though I REALLY wanted to know. I mean, this time we had 13 (!!!!!) eggs. As an example, last time we had 6 shitty eggs. Only 5 were mature and only 3 fertilized. We took those 3 (which turned into less than sub par embryos) to transfer- and we all know what happened next.

But 13.... i could picture it in my head. 10 were going to be mature. 8 were going to fertilize and we might actually get embryos to freeze!!!

I had to wait until my transfer to find out for sure.

And, I was wrong.

And once I found out i was wrong, i realized I would have been upset not knowing those three days, anyway.

Of 13 eggs, only 7 were mature and of those 7 only 4 fertilized. we lost one of those on day 2.

So, 3 embryos. Again.

But the news this time is not as abysmal. This time we have GOOD embryos. REALLY good.

Quick review of Dr Z's grading system; goes on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the best and "no one gets a 1") and at this stage, you want 8 cells in each embryo.

Also a refresher, for comparison, of embryos from IVF #1:

  • 6 cell grade 3
  • 6 cell grade 4
  • 5 cell grade 4
At the transfer, Dr Z sits us down and tells about our embryos. What we find out is, in his lab, what we have is just about as good as it gets for a 3 day transfer.

He tells us about our first 2 embryos first.

We have an 8 cell grade 2 (pictured right) and a compacted 8 cell grade 2 (pictured left). Compacted means the embryo is heading for blast, which means our embryo is at LEAST 1/2 -1 day ahead in growth!
The other news from Dr Z is like he told us last time: grades 1, 2 and 3 all have the same rate of implantation.

Then he tells us about embryo #3.... it is also 8 cell (holy crap!) but a grade 4, so just lots of fragmentation. He left it up to us to decide what to do with it, but we deferred to his judgment, and transferred it also. I couldn't see disposing of an embryo that was better than anything we transferred last time. Besides, he said with my diagnosis and the failed last cycle, he thinks we can definitely justify transferring 3.

So, 3 embryos transferred. 2 pretty much perfect (pictured) and the one slightly less than perfect (not pictured, b/c it was a last minute decision).

Thanks for all of your well wishes. Please keep them coming.

photo credit

Please be snuggling in for the next 9 months, babies...

Back to bedrest. Welcome to the 2ww.

March 20, 2010

37... I mean 38 Weeks!

Wow... I've been horrible blogger.

I just realized that I never blogged about my 37 week appointment… it.was.horrible. Dr. C was out of town so I saw Dr. W. I've seen her once before and didn't really get a good vibe from her but after this appointment I REALLY don't like her.

  • She kept talking about "the second time around" insinuating this is my second kid. I corrected her... twice.
  • When she measured my belly she said "oh right on target for being 36 weeks..." um... I corrected her again telling her I'm actually 37 weeks. I know the measurement is still normal either way but still irritating.
  • She couldn't find Baby GB’s heartbeat - even after I showed her exactly where they always find it... after she finally found it she had to pull out her iphone to time it cause she "forgot her watch today." WTF?
  • When asked about taking a birthing class, I got a lecture cause I said we haven't and that we didn't plan to?! Seriously lady??? Seriously?
  • Dr. C told me that if I wanted she'd do an internal which I actually really wanted just to see if anything's going on yet… but after that I didn't want her to touch me.
  • She gave me the great news that I tested positive for that Group B Strep crap! I know it's nothing serious and that I just have to get treated while in the hospital for delivery but just the fact that SHE delivered the news makes it that much more irritating!
  • To boot - all of this lasted a total of about 5 minutes... Dr. C usually takes at least 15-20 min sometimes longer if we get to talking... thanks doc for the pointless appointment?

I just kept thinking after that appointment that PLEASE Baby GB PLEASE don’t come this week since Dr. C is out of town… we don’t want Dr. W to deliver us!!!!! Well, he obviously didn’t come cause I'm now 38 weeks 5 days knocked up.

I've been having 3 appointments a week; two non-stress tests to make sure Baby GB is moving around and that his heart rate is raising when he does, an ultrasound to measure his amniotic fluid levels and my regular appointment with Dr. C - who told me on Wednesday that there's nothin' going on down there... thanks Baby GB... let’s get this party started!!!

Anyway, my next appointment with Dr. C is on Monday - Monday the 22nd - we are REALLY hoping he makes his appearance on this day (even though technically it would be 1 week early). There are already a handful of 22nd birthdays in my family so it would just be neat to add another one. Stay tuned....

Here's a picture of Baby GB from this week’s ultrasound... it’s adorable cause he looks exactly like daddy!!! We can’t WAIT to meet him!!!

March 19, 2010

We're working on our morph

We finally got DH's SA results yesterday... almost 2 weeks after they told him "a day or two". The cover letter said the results were "normal", and in fact everything in the top portion was excellent. Sperm concentration, count, motility, rate of progression, viscosity - all well above the normal ranges. So that was cause for celebration.

BUT... The morphology section didn't paint as pretty of a picture. Only 3% of this sample had normal forms, with 87% head defects and 10% tail defects. The "normal range" on our report says >4% normal, "strict normal" is >14%, and the WHO says >30%. Women all over message boards report their docs giving them a less than 5% chance of conceiving naturally with our morph numbers. So I'm not sure why they told us all was good in the cover letter.

We immediately started Googling, and we have a game plan. We figure that since his total number of motile sperm and rate of progression are so high, there are actually more normal sperm with that 3% than there would be in a sample count closer to the threshold. Normal # motile is >15 mil, we have 256 mil. So we've got that going for us. DH is also going to make some behavioral changes to improve his morphology, like cutting back on alcohol and cutting out the occasional smoke altogether, eating right and exercising regularly. And, we've ordered a bottle of Pycogenol, a supplement many (online) say can improve sperm morphology in as little as 3 months. He'll start 200 mg/day once it arrives.

Even though I know that the threat of ART is still definitely in our picture, these results are actually a relief. At least we know what's up now. It'll no longer be a mystery and a cruel joke when AF comes about 28 days from now. I already expect it, and will for the next couple cycles. If we get to July, which will be our 1-year mark, then he'll have a repeat SA while I start my own testing. And if we have to advance to IVF or IUI, so be it. At least he has a lot of sperm, normal heads or not, and knowing that there are biological children in there somewhere is a major, major relief for me.

March 18, 2010

Long Time No Post & Immune Results

Hey Everyone,

I know it has been quite a little while since I posted but Mr. Blessed Bud and I had been waiting on our Immune Testing results. Since we were on a break I just took some time to relax and get my mind off TTC and onto some of the other passions in my life that I had been neglecting like writing, theatre etc. TTC can be filled with hope and at times it can be filled with frustration. Prayer has gotten me this far and maintained my sanity.

Immune Testing
These are the tests that we had done: Natural Killer Cell Assay (White Blood Cells) , Th1/Th2 Cytokine Assay (T Cells), Reproductive Immunophenotype (Lymphocyte Cells), DQ Alpha/HLA Antigen (Genotype Match between male and female partners). These tests are costly and are not covered by insurance. There are some RE's who believe in immune testing and some who don't. My RE does believe in immune testing. Although I was not happy about the price of the tests, I can say that I have peace of mind. On a positive note, all of our Immune Test results came back NORMAL .

What's Next
I am waiting on AF so I can go on BCP's for FET #1. I feel much more relaxed for this upcoming cycle and I am happy that Frozen cycles are not as stressful on the body and mimic natural cycles more closely because your body is not being pumped with a whole bunch of injectable meds. I am thankful we do have frozen embryos and I am praying that God is going to work things out at his appointed time...

Until Next Time,

March 17, 2010

Check Check & Check

gas? check

heartburn? check

tiny bit of nausea? check

hungry 24/7? check

peeing 24/7? check

heightened sense of smell? check

I am AMAZED at how early on all this came (most of it the last day or two, some of it a few days ago)... because my first pg I didnt get any symptoms until like a month in.

And you know what? I LOVE every minute of it! Sure, give me heartburn, I COULD CARE LESS! Need to pee every five minutes? YEP! Gladly!

Blood draw was today, but I won't get the results back until tomorrow afternoon or even Friday morning. OB wants to wait to get the results back to see if he needs to order another draw. I don't know... something just feels.... different (better) about this one. We shall see!

1st baby related ultrasound!

Yaaaay! Yesterday went awesome. I was so nervous walking into my RE's office, but Mr. Worry Bud assured me that everything would be alright...don't you love how men are always so confident? LOL. Anyways, the u/s yesterday went AMAZING!!! As soon as the tech stuck the probe (vag cam) in, we saw a big black sac and a little white mass looking thing towards the bottom of the sac (there is also the yolk sac right above the baby). That little white mass is our pride & joy - Baby Worry Bud!!

Yep, only one LO growing in there, but we are more than thrilled with that as long as our baby is happy & healthy. The u/s tech took some measurements, then zoomed in for "the fun stuff". And we saw our baby's sweet little heart flickering on the monitor (116 beats per min :o). It was one of the best moments of my life - and even Mr. WB almost cried. :) I finally felt like I could breathe at least a small sigh of relief. Afterwords, we sat down with my wonderful nurse & she gave us instructions for the next few weeks - I am to continue the Endometrin 2x a day until March 27th, then I can go down to once a day until April 4th; I also continue my Estradiol 2x a day until April 4th; stop the baby aspirin now. As soon as we left the office, Mr. WB called his mom on speaker & told her she was going to be a grandma - she cried. She always cries about EVERYTHING, so no surprise there but she was so happy.

Based on the talk with my nurse, I will get one more ultrasound at my RE's office when I'm just about 8 weeks & then will likely be released, so she advised that I call my OB/GYN to set up a prenatal appointment with them. I called yesterday afternoon & my first appointment is March 31st! It will be an "intake appointment" with a nurse & she will discuss the Dos & Don'ts, ask questions, etc. Then, the next appointment will be about two weeks later where they will listen for the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler. I plan on asking how many ultrasound's I get at my first appointment. I know for sure my OB/GYN doesn't do u/s in office, so I'd have to go somewhere else.

Today I am 6 weeks, 4 days pregnant & am due on November 6, 2010!! As always, I want to thank all of you for the continued thoughts & prayers - they have really helped us get thru this IVF cycle! I get to go back on March 26th for another look at Baby WB, woot!! Until then, I'll be counting down the days!

March 16, 2010

The Good Part of the weekend: We celebrated our first wedding Anniversary at a seafood Festival with our family and friends
The Bad Part of the weekend: Got a UTI Saturday morning, so I rested and drank a lot of water which help and the pain went away. On Sunday as soon as we arrived at the festival (mean while 2 hours away) the burning pain started to come right back, so we had to cut the trip short.
Here are some pictures my dad took

Being near the ocean reminded me of our honeymoon, Our amazing View

And to the TTC part.... I had a + OPK on Sunday but I gave up on this cycle because of the UTI Saturday. On Monday we went to the Urgent Care and it turns out I had a bacteria. They gave me antibiotics and told me I can still TTC but would have to take my PNV's 2 hours before/after the antibiotics. Lets see what happens, We BD on Friday AM and Tuesday AM hopefully one of Mr.Buds little guys made it.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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