Archive | October, 2011

It’s setting in

23 Oct

Wow. Thanks for all of the kind and excited comments. It’s starting to set in that I’m actually pregnant. I’ve also been experiencing some definite symptoms, so I know it’s really happening. I’ve been getting up multiple time in the middle of the night to pee, I am hungry all the time, and I am dead tired by 9 pm. The cramps are still a little disconcerting. While they are different and less acute than menstrual cramps, I don’t have anything else to compare them to. So every time I feel a pulling in my lower back or a pain in my uterus, I need to remind myself that this is what pregnancy feels like.

A sweet friend just confessed to me that she is 7 weeks pregnant, so we are only 3 weeks apart. She made the excellent suggestion that I keep some almonds beside my bed and eat a couple every time I get up to pee in the middle of the night. It totally helped this morning, so I was actually able to get back to sleep after my 4am pee. I was beginning to worry that I would be constantly sleep-deprived at work, if the early morning wake-ups continued.

I am totally off coffee and have switched to lightly brewed green/mint tea in the morning. I am drinking buckets of liquid every day — mostly water, herbal tea and the occasional glass of juice. While I have no intention of counting calories or keeping close track of what I eat, I am trying to eat as many vegetables as I can each day. That plus my prenatal vitamin should keep me healthy and relatively nutritionally balanced during the crucial first trimester.

And after a month of hibernation, I am going to return to the gym today. With winter approaching, exercise is my #1 way to beat the blues. Also, I want to start feeling that this body is powerful and capable again, instead of be worried about every little ache and pain. I will look into prenatal yoga and aquafit during my second trimester, but for now, a light gym workout should suit me just fine.

When my wife and I were first trying to conceive, I was in the midst of my last stressful year of grad school. Now it’s nice to have enough free time to enjoy this time with relatively little stress on top of my day job. I am going to renew my library card, do lots of cooking and make time for dinner parties with friends. My wife has already started a massive purging/home organization project. We’re making room in our home and in our hearts for what is about to come. IT feels amazing.

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Can you keep a secret?

21 Oct

I broke my own rule yesterday morning. I got up, peed on a stick, and this is what I got. Did the same thing this morning (two lines again!) and then had my blood drawn at the clinic. Waited an agonizing six hours for them to call. But by 2:30 pm, it was officially confirmed.

I’m pregnant.

If you know me in real life, please keep this as a secret for me. I am planning to keep this close to the chest for a few weeks. But thank you for following along and sending good energy our way. My wife and I are kinda stunned but so grateful and excited.

So far, my biggest symptoms have been intermittent mild cramps, general exhaustion and a propensity to wake up at 4am to go pee. Oh yeah, and the lack of a period. I’ve also been a little bit indigested. And coffee tastes like gasoline.

While I do have grand plans to have an active pregnancy, I think I’m going to put my feet up this weekend, take lots of naps, squeeze my sweet wife and start to dream a little.

Love to all of you.

 

Two week waiting

19 Oct

I am 48 hours away from the end of the dreadful two week wait. I have been hesitant to update very often, because I am somewhat superstitious. All I can tell you is that everything about this cycle has been different from the last one. This can only be a good thing, but it’s no guarantee. Starting at about four days after the embryo transfer, I started feeling an intermittent dull ache in my lower back and very mild PMS-type cramps. But they didn’t worsen in intensity and they have largely dissipated since Monday morning. I don’t have the overhanging feeling of dread and disaster that I did last time. The cramps have not made the horrible turn from ambiguous aches into painful, unmistakable menstrual pain. And I haven’t started spotting.  That is all I know.

My wife and I took off for a much-need getaway to Vermont over the weekend and it was just what the doctor ordered. It kept me from obsessively googling my “symptoms” and it gave us some time to slow down and reconnect. I still spent one night huddled in bed, trying to determine whether or not the vague feelings in my reproductive organs were signs of failure. But by Sunday, I felt like the fog had lifted.

I have stopped myself from doing any home pregnancy tests. Every single time I have done them over the last year, it has triggered an emotional downward spiral of depression and despair. If this cycle fails, those feelings are inevitable. But I don’t really need to feel them today or tomorrow. If I need to collapse on Friday, I will. But for now, I am imbued with a cautious sense of optimism and it’s rather refreshing.

Hormone rage

12 Oct

I’m afraid I was uber cranky with my sweet wife this morning, over a small miscommunication on when she was going to drive me to work. Ultimately a silly, inconsequential argument. But I am having trouble letting go of my frustration. I do believe that this is my first hormone-induced rage of this IVF cycle. Not bad, all things considered.

I have been waking up suddenly at 2:30 in the morning for the last two days. This morning, it took me an hour to fall back asleep. I had vague cramps and pressure in my uterus/lower back. I spent the hour trying to determine if this was implantation cramping or PMS. Of course, there is no way of knowing. And every single cycle where I have imagined symptoms so far has ended in disappointment.

I guess I’m finally starting to feel the full range of emotions about this cycle. I am beyond sunny optimism and am now trying to prepare myself for the worst, just in case. I am also pretty weary. It’s been a rollercoaster of medical interventions, injections, anticipation and hope. And I am taking it easy and holding off on the gym for another week or so, which means that I haven’t been able to access my usual outlet for frustration.

I sure hope this works. That is all.

PUPO (or all of our eggs in one basket)

11 Oct

PUPO is a fancy IVF acronym for “pregnant until proven otherwise” — and that’s what I am. Our transfer was originally scheduled for Sunday morning, but we got a call on Saturday from one of the doctors. Only three embryos were left and one wasn’t doing so well. So we rushed over to the clinic and they did a rare 4-day transfer. I didn’t have much time to look at the chart, but from what I understand, both of them were at the “morula” stage of development, and one had “compacted” already. Anyway, we put both in and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, the third embryo didn’t make it to freezing. So we have all of our eggs in one basket — AKA my uterus.

I am feeling much more positive than last round. With five that fertilized, we got the chance to choose the two strongest to transfer. I am somewhat upset that we didn’t have any to freeze again. But I know that my clinic has a low freeze rate because they are so picky. And there’s no point paying to freeze embryos that have no chance of ever becoming babies.

So now, I wait. I am enjoying the sunshine, getting lots of rest and trying to stay positive. I will return to the gym in a few days — just giving my ovaries a little more time to calm down. So far, there have  been no signs of hyperstimulation. So I am sincerely hoping that this cycle hit the sweet spot of finding and nurturing the best egg, without making me sick.

And the best part? There doesn’t appear to be anything majorly wrong with my eggs or with my right ovary. This gives me hope that I will in fact get pregnant one day. I hope it’s happening as I type this!

The wait, part 1

5 Oct

Egg retrieval was yesterday. It went as well as could be expected. They got eight eggs — less than I had hoped for, but exactly the number of big follicles that were showing on the ultrasound earlier this week. The doctor made a good call to allow me to stimulate for one extra day. I hope this means that all (or the majority of) the eggs are mature.

We solved one mystery yesterday. It appears that I do in fact produce eggs out of my right ovary. We got two from the right. But it was also excruciatingly painful. The doctor seems to think that there may be some scar tissue. He said it was “tough” to penetrate. This helps explain things a little. But wow, did it ever hurt. My clinic doesn’t do general anesthetic for egg retrievals, so I had to make do with an extra dose of a painkiller narcotic.

Right now I am in the midst of the first unbearable wait. I am waiting for someone from the clinic to call and let me know how many eggs were mature and how many fertilized. Last time only one fertilized. We are hoping for much better results this time. The ideal scenario would be if five or more fertilized — then the clinic would let them go for five days (to develop into the blastocyst stage) before putting one or two back into my uterus. The super duper ideal scenario would be if we had a couple to transfer and at least two to freeze.

I am trying to think positive and stay calm, while I wait at home for the phone to ring.

EDIT: Amazing news! Five eggs fertilized. I am tentatively booked for a 5-day transfer on Sunday. But if anything changes overnight, then they will slot me in for a 3-day on Friday. I am happy, hopeful and so, so relieved!