Thursday, June 14, 2012

Five month recap

I've been very bad about blogging. It is now probably five months after my last post and I realize that I left it as a cliffhanger ! So, what DID happen at our first ultrasound ?

Chris and I woke up and we drove to Dr. T's office and got settled into the examination room. We had purchased a little gift from Tiffany's for Dr. T and some jewelry from Blue Nile for the nurses, and she came in and I held my breath. What would we see ?

The image flickered into view and to my relief, I could see the sac. I exhaled. Dr. T turned the monitor so that Chris and I could see and she pointed to this little flicker that was on the screen. It looked like a little star twinkling and she said, "That's a heartbeat." We were smitten. Look at our little baby's heartbeat !!

Then, Dr. T shifted the ultrasound wand a little bit and said, "And here's another heartbeat."

There was a moment of stunned silence. At this point, I usually say, when I'm telling this story out loud, that I then said in alarm, "Our baby has two heartbeats ?" but the truth is that I didn't say that, and all I remember is seeing Chris's face and he said, "I see it." and then the slow realization as Dr. T said, "You're having twins."

I swear I still get so emotional thinking about it. I started rereading my blog today and looking back, I am so glad that I had written everything down because it was, and still is, such a big event in my life. Dr. T was very cautious and told us that she was worried because she couldn't tell if a membrane was separating the two (we thought that meant she couldn't tell if they were identical or not), and we left that office that day, with a few pictures of our tiny babies clutched in our hands, and shock in our hearts (at least, I was majorly in shock .. this whole time I thought there was one !).

We would later learn that we were having identical twins (go figure !), which means that one of our embryos didn't implant, and the other one split. They are mono-di twins, and with that comes great complications as we would later learn.

We saw Dr. T a few more times after that, and then .. the sad graduation. I kept on my Vivelle and Endometrin until 12 weeks, and then transferred to my OB, Dr. Hua, and I was very lucky to get in because it turns out that I should have booked an appointment months ago. Dr. T helped by sending a note to Dr. Hua, who fit me into her schedule.

The next while is a blur. We were excited and nervous, and everything was going well. Dr. T had told us that we would need to go see a perinatologist (Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor) since I was considered high risk, and at our first meeting, we had Dr. K (who we didn't really like, so we switched to the other one). Those ultrasounds are very cool since they are high-res and it took probably around two hours to get all the pictures they wanted to get.

After that, we saw MFM every two weeks and she (Dr. D) would check the babies, and we were content and happy. Our NT scan came back well (one was at 2.4 mm and one at 1.0 mm which was a little alarming since we learned that could be an indicator that they would start transfusing blood down the line, but it was within normal guidelines) as did the first trimester blood work, so it was a shock when the second trimester bloodwork came back abnormal, giving us a 1:120 chance of Down Syndrome.

We were .. devastated. We had thought we were going to be okay (and actually, Dr. K told us at the first meeting that she would be VERY surprised if my second trimester quad screen came back abnormal) and did not plan on doing amnios since I was under 35, but with 1:120 odds, should we do it ? We did end up deciding that we wanted to do it, because we would rather know than not know, and so we met with a genetics counselor and did a double amnio.

A week later (thankfully, it was fast !), the results came back. Both were normal !! Oh, and I should probably mention that we already knew from the first ultrasounds that we would hear the pitter patter feet of two little boys.

That was our first big scare. Then, at our appointment on May 15th, our world was turned upside down. By this point, I think I was in my 19th or 20th week, and we figured that we had all the worries behind us. We were at a MFM meeting when Dr. D came in and said she wanted to take a look herself and I just knew that she was not going to tell us good news.

It turns out that Baby B was measuring behind, and at a previous meeting, she had mentioned that he was 23% smaller than Baby A (normal guidelines are under 20% discordance), but now it had grown to 29% and Baby B was in the 2nd percentile for size and weight (and whatever other tests they run). We knew it was serious, and she said at one point, "I'm very afraid that he isn't going to make it. He may die." She spoke of how since they were identical twins, if one were to pass away, there would be a 20% chance of brain damage to the other twin. She said that UCSF was one of five clinics in the US that did radioablation of the umbilical cord, meaning that they would sever the connection so that the 20% chance didn't exist anymore. She asked if we wanted her to inquire if they did indeed do that procedure. I couldn't wrap my mind around anything she said. We said yes, because we wanted to keep our options open (and wanted a second opinion), but hoped that we would never have to seriously consider it.

I thought we were holding it together pretty well despite all the bad news (though most of me was just in utter shock) but when Dr. D leaned over and rubbed my legs and said, "I am very very sorry. Take all the time you need in here.", I just completely lost it. It was also one of the few times I've seen Chris cry. I couldn't comprehend it. I've felt both of them kick. I've carried them for so long at this point that they are a part of me. I've dreamed of my little boys for months by this point and I needed and loved them both.

The next few days were awful. I cried randomly and my heart was shattered into little pieces. All the stuff I had been buying had both of them in mind. It was too painful to even think about purchasing anything else because I didn't know if I would be purchasing for one, two, or none. I had a hard time sleeping and waited. I researched a lot online about Selective Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction (SIUGR) and posted on Baby Center. I found out that a doctor in LA and Tampa were doing experimental surgery where they would completely divide the placenta into two. I thought I would inquire about that.

At some point, Dr. D did call me back and told me that UCSF does do the procedure and so she helped set up an appointment with UCSF. She said that they would call me with an appointment. One night, my OB called and said she had read the report and wanted to call to see how I was doing. She sounded so apologetic that I knew she didn't have high hopes for us, but it was kind of her to call.

UCSF took their sweet time getting back to me. One day passed, and then another. I started to get frantic because I didn't know if and when they would see me, and here I was, sitting in my room all the time with so much on my mind and nothing I could do. We also had our babymoon planned for Maui and were supposed to leave that Sunday, but how could we go with everything that was going on ?

I did finally get an appointment with UCSF on the 25th of May and it was a full day appointment. We arrived at 9 AM and ended up leaving around 3 PM or so. First, we went to radiology so that they could get their own measurements. The sonographer was very gentle and I appreciated that, but the radiologist didn't seem to know how to work the machine (that made me nervous) and was very heavy handed. It took about two hours and I'm just glad I didn't pass out (at one appointment with Dr. D's sonographer, she must have been pressing on my vena cava or something because I thought I was going to black out and had to lay on my side for a few). Then, we went to the fetal treatment center.

When I had all that free time waiting for UCSF to call, I started to read up on their website about their advances in medicine and was very impressed with what I read. I always knew that UCSF was a prestigious school, but one doctor stood out to me, Dr. R, because not only was he the director, but also because the majority of his research has been on mono-di twins and their complications.

So I was very pleasantly surprised when he was the one who greeted us (I kind of freaked him out because I said, "I was just looking at a picture of you !" and he was like, "Uh, okay.") and we went into his office to talk. I should point out that the reason I was just looking at a picture of him was because the sonographer had asked if we had already met with Dr. R, and so I was on my cell while we were waiting looking through the profiles to see if that was the doctor I was hoping we'd get. Later, Chris would say that I'm such a creeper, lol.

We didn't know what to expect. Would he tell us good news or bad news ? I had been stuffing my face with protein all the time up to this point .. three Boost drinks a day, mostly bedrest, eating lots of beef, chicken, etc. (so much food that nothing sounds good). Well, it was good news ! He told us that he would not recommend laser surgery at this time and said that most patients with our situation end up doing pretty well, making it to an average of 33 weeks (32-34 weeks he said initially). He was extremely thorough and drew us a diagram where he explained that Baby A's umbilical cord was attached near the middle of the placenta, but Baby B has a velamentous cord insertion, meaning it actually goes into the uterine lining and not the placenta, and uses blood vessels to connect to the placenta. This made me very sad because I was thinking about poor Baby B with his two corded vessel and how he was struggling to get food.

Another thing Dr. D had mentioned was that there was intermittent absent end diastolic flow for Baby B. If it was just one baby, that would be very very bad thing to hear. And she didn't tell us at the time, but when it's in identical twins, it's just confusing. Dr. R explained that all mono-di twins are connected in some way. There are artery to vein and vein to artery connections within the placenta and most of the time they even each other out and so there is no transfusion. But what happens when there is an artery to artery connection ? That's where it gets interesting, he said. He believes that Baby A may be pumping blood to Baby B more than the other way, so in essence, Baby A was helping Baby B. This also explained the intermittent absent end diastolic flow. We said that we would meet every two weeks to get more data points and to make sure that Baby B would continue to grow. In California, all decisions have to be made by the 24th week of pregnancy.

We felt so good coming out of Dr. R's office, and he was obviously very knowledgeable in this area and so we felt comforted. 32 weeks ! That would be awesome ! Before this, we had been hoping to even make it to 28 weeks. We then went to do the fetal echocardiogram. It sucked, in short. The technician that we had was obviously having a bad day or just a jerk or something, because not only was he very rough, but he seemed like an angry guy. He would stand up, kick his stool to the wall, press down hard on my stomach, then sigh, over and over .. and complained about how he had two sets of twins recently and triplets a few days before.

In the end, their hearts came back structurally normal and healthy. What a relief ! All in all, it had been an excellent day, and after the EKG, we headed home. We decided to go to Maui because all three doctors had said we could go, and we had no appointments scheduled for the next week.

Some other random tidbits of what was going on during this time .. we sold our house ! Yes, it all happened very fast, but we decided to list our house and move in with my mom for the time being. We figured we wouldn't purchase another house until the end of the year. We officially listed it on May 8th, the broker's tour was on May 10th, the house was open for Mother's Day weekend, and we accepted offers on the 17th. We countered three offered and signed the one we ended up selling to on the 18th.

Mother's Day ! It was my first as a Mom. :) My sister got me these amazing shoes by Nike (they make my feet look like a camel) and a very sweet card. My husband got me a beautiful card and tickets to see Les Miserables .. my favorite ! So it was definitely a day to remember. They are so thoughtful. <3

Maui was fun, except for our trip to Hana road. It became this huge thing, because we did a tour and were assured that the backside of Maui wouldn't be bad (there's a seven mile stretch of unpaved road), but it turned out to be so violently bumpy (and lasted 45 minutes) that I felt horrible afterwards. This led to us filing a complaint with the hotel (though Expedia Local Experts is contracted), and I posted a nasty message on their Facebook page (more on that later), and sent an email.

The good thing is that the next morning, Debbie, a manager for Expedia, called and gave us a full refund, but I was in agony for a day.

Aside from that, Maui was great. But I think mainly what made it great was that I was there with my husband. I don't even know what to say about him. I am constantly amazed by his gentleness, affection and silliness, and it sounds so cliche, but he really does make everything better.

We had rented a car and had a Nissan Versa or something and we were cracking up because it was really a piece of shit car. Chris kept calling it a micro machine car, and it would shake sometimes when we were driving or at a stop, and it just didn't seem that reliable. We went to Lahaina one day, did the Old Lahaina Luau, Hana road, swam a lot in the hotel pool, went to the beach across the street, ate a lot, crashed the Marriott at Kanaapali, and had an amazing time at the spa (Chris is so in love with the eucalyptus steam room there). The spa was very very nice, but I was kind of sad I couldn't take advantage of all of it. Most of the stuff (they had these five terme bath salt bath things, sauna, hot tubs, etc.) isn't recommended for pregnant people, and though I did dip into two termes (the mango papaya green one and the black one), I mainly stuck with the waterfall thing. The massage was wonderful .. one of the best, and Chris really enjoyed it.

Our hotel was also really cool. It had washing machines you could use for free, the rooms were nice, the staff was very nice, and overall it was just a very nice vacation and it was also nice to just kind of get away from it all. I should end it here .. I have to go meet my realtor !

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Wait

It's the day before my ultrasound and I can't help thinking about my lack of symptoms. A lot of people are already reporting food aversions and feeling queasy (or actually throwing up) and I will eat anything still and don't feel much. I'm worried about tomorrow.

SC came over tonight and helped pass the time. It was really fun, actually, because he signed up for an eharmony account and we went through and looked at a bunch of girls (I think I'm less picky than both the guys, haha !) and watched some TV.

Work was very busy today. I finally was able to get started on all the stuff I needed to get done by tomorrow .. I don't know if I'll make it !

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sweet pea

Today the little baby growing inside of me turned six weeks ! Baby is now the size of a sweet pea and is growing at a faster pace, now. The heart should have started beating. I woke up to this update in my mailbox :


I also downloaded a bunch of pregnancy apps from the app store. I'm officially hooked ! I'm still trying to eat healthy, but I'm having my moments of guilty eating. I've been eating a lot (about every three hours and all the way up to bed time).

I poas today ! It was a relief to see that it was super dark.

On FT, a bunch of girls got their BFPs today. In fact, all the girls who did their beta today got a BFP ! That is just amazing and I'm so excited and happy for everyone. I hope we all have a very happy and healthy nine months.

I had a bunch of emails waiting for me at work this morning (thanks to yesterday) and needed to get my RNs out today. Thankfully, it wasn't that painful, though we did end up doing a lot of last minute drafts.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Raid Night

Today I was made one of the October DDC guides on TMP .. I'm so excited ! We're getting more and more girls and I really like the other guide and I hope we can fill the DDC up with more people and get the ball rolling. :) Friday is my first ultrasound and the worry never ends. I have been pretty relaxed up to this point, but now that Friday is looming closer and closer, it's becoming more and more real. What if I don't see anything on the ultrasound ? I've read too many stories and they've scared me. Why do I do this to myself ?

It was raid night tonight and we got another hard mode down (oh yeah). It seemed a lot easier than before, but I think we all kind of thought about it for the past week and knew our roles better. It was exciting and reminded me why I loved the game. I've been in a funk since December so maybe my love for it is slowly coming back.

Work was crazy today. I got in and J told me to post the docs to the server and to send out the ready notice to all the PLMs. That means I'm going to get all the responses as well ! I have so much stuff on my plate already. :(

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday

We woke up early and I started cleaning (lightly). Then we met up with my mom and grandmother for lunch at this really good Chinese restaurant near us and the fish is -so- good there. I probably ate more than I should have (at one point, Chris was like, are you supposed to be eating so much fish ? What about the mercury ?) but I couldn't stop myself.

It's weird that I still don't feel much different. I've been pretty bloated for a while now and I still have cramps (and sometimes I think the ladies are growing), but for the most part I feel like I always have. Only five more days until we see the pumpkin seed for the first time ! I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

We saw something crazy on the way home. We were driving along when I said, "Do you smell gas ?". I have a really bad sense of smell so it alarmed me that I could smell it. I was afraid it was coming from our car because we just realized that someone had rear ended Chris's car and took off (his bumper is misaligned on the passenger side :(). Chris looked around and saw that there was a huge puddle of gas, then looked at the car in the lane to our left .. it was leaking gas at a very fast pace (and driving ahead of us). S/he must have trailed a line of gas for a long time, and I really hope no one flicks a cigarette somewhere into that line because then it would be a wall of fire !

The house is clean now (we even got rid of the like 30 pairs of shoes outside our front door, thanks Chris !) and we're just waiting for Mom to come. I asked that she come a little bit early but she said she still had some stuff to do. I'm anxious. I don't even know how I would work it into the conversation ! My current plan is to ask if she wanted to see what I was working on yesterday and just to hand the card to her. I'm not sure if the card is obvious enough (even though Chris said she'll see the stork before anything else and understand).

I did get to poas today since we're going to reveal it to my mom. :D It was a CB digital and it didn't take long for it to come up at all. I also have the photos and stamps ready to go. Now just the wait !

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Arts and Crafts

Today I went to Paper Source because I wanted to start making my pregnancy announcements. It turns out that this project was more complicated than I thought, because then I had to think about what the title of every member of my immediate family was to my child. I couldn't figure out my uncle's branch so I sneakily asked my mom, who said she didn't know, and told me to ask my grandmother. My grandmother did answer it for me, tee hee hee.

While I was working on the cards, Chris went to watch Underworld with our friend V, and my mom had called to ask a few iTunes questions and said she'd come over to watch the Superbowl tomorrow (score !). I told Chris that I wanted to tell her tomorrow and he said okay. Woo hoo ! I'm really excited. This has been our little secret for a while, and we won't be telling my grandmother until next Sunday, but I wonder what my mom's reaction will be.

She's not exactly what I would call the sentimental type so I'm not expecting tears or anything. It'll be fun to see ! I told Chris that we should record her reaction, so that's what we're planning to do. This is the finished product :


The boards have been really exciting too because more and more girls are getting their BFPs. I think we're going to have a record month ! Some of those girls really crack me up. One that lives close, Y, got her BFP and I think we're going to meet up for lunch. :D

Friday, February 3, 2012

Foot, Meet Mouth

Eek, I did a really bad thing tonight. One of the girls asked about laparoscopy, and without reading the rest of her post, I posted the following:

I really don't want to freak you out, but my lap experience was horrible. It is the worst thing I have done to date. I went into it thinking that it would just be minor surgery since the incisions were so small, and I was so scared about the HSG and that turned out a joke (for me .. I've heard horror stories from other people, which is why I was so scared to begin with and I hadn't heard horror stories from laps). The reason the lap was so painful was because they shove a breathing tube down your throat and because they fill you up with gas. It wasn't so much the incisions themselves, but the gas makes it feel like there's a ton of pressure on your shoulders and I was in so much pain (it also felt like I had broken ribs because it hurt to breathe). The breathing tube completely dried out my throat and stretched that magic hanging ball at the back of my throat (no idea what the technical term for that thing is) and I couldn't talk because my throat hurt so badly (sore throat x 1000). It took me about three days to even talk somewhat normally, but I could only speak in short bursts because I couldn't draw breath. It took me ten days to walk normally again. I showered on the third day, but I nearly passed out in the shower and my husband had to come in and carried me out. We had to change the incision bandages every day and that wasn't so bad (my husband changed it for the most part), but the whole experience made me want to cry because I was in so much pain, and emotionally it took a huge toll on me. I had no symptoms or reasons to do the lap whatsoever, but after 1.25 years of trying to conceive and nothing, my RE was at a loss and recommended it before IVF in January. I had my operation August 9th (that day will be forever ingrained in my head) and my first day back at work (where I could actually stay a whole day at work) was August 22nd. In the end, my RE found four tiny spots of endo, which she told me didn't explain why we weren't conceiving. I should probably have said this in the beginning, but everyone's experience is different, and I have heard of girls who could just get up and walk around a few days after. That just wasn't my experience. Afterward, I told my RE that I regretted it completely and wished I had never agreed to it (not to mention my insurance only paid 90% and I was stuck with a $1500 bill). It was also the reason I nearly left my RE. I know this all sounds scary and I really don't want to scare you, but for me, my cycles were always regular, never painful, nothing unusual, and in the end, I felt like it was for nothing. They do say that smaller people have a harder time with a lap than bigger people. In any case, I think if you go into anything expecting the worse, it will always be better than you think. I went into this thinking it wouldn't be that bad and had a very traumatic experience. Oh, and everyone who has seen my scar says it healed very nicely. If this is it healing nicely, I don't want to know what it not healing nicely looks like. It is really ugly and every time I look at it, I just feel incredibly sad. Also, IVF is used to bypass endo in many cases, so I just feel like it was a waste.

It wasn't until I had posted it (and I saw her online) that I went back to reread her post to make sure I hadn't missed anything and saw that she said specifically that she didn't want any horror stories because ignorance is bliss. I felt terrible ! I took it down immediately and sent her a PM. She responded the next day (whew) and said she hadn't read it. She had just gotten a BFN too so my timing was particularly bad. =/


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blackout

I almost blacked out tonight ! I was hanging out with my grandmother and cooking with her (frying shrimp) and I started to feel really lightheaded. I thought, okay Emily, suck it up. Just suck it up ! Don't pass out. So I continued to move the shrimp around and took them out when they were ready. We had nine more to go and my grandmother said she'll let me take care of it while she prepares something else. I told her I had to get something to drink first and went to the coffee table and drank some Gatorade.

I went back to the stove and we put the nine new shrimp in the skillet and my grandmother went to do something else. I was working on my breathing and telling myself just to finish these nine and then I could go sit down, but things started to get blurry and I started to pace around just to get some air into my lungs. The shrimp seemed to take forever to cook. At one point, I went over to the sink and I crossed my arms and put my head down and tried to feel better. I looked at my mom, who was sitting on the couch, to see if I could beckon her to come help me, but she was playing on her iPad.

I went back to the shrimp and I said, "I think it's ready." and my grandmother said, "Okay, I'll be right over." I scooped the shrimp out and said, "I think I'm going to pass out."

I went over to the couch and all I could see was spots. I sat down, and then laid down on the couch. My grandmother and mom were like, what's wrong with you ! I blamed it on the ventilation and I just laid there until the spots went away, and then we ate.

I felt like my mom was a little bit suspicious (probably just in my mind) because during dinner, she asked again what was wrong with me, and I told her that I hadn't eaten since 11 AM - 11:30 AM. It wasn't entirely the truth. :( I had been eating every three hours or so. I didn't want her to suspect anything so I told her that I had my period and she nodded her head in understanding and said, "Ah yeah, that can cause you to be lightheaded.".

We were watching TV when suddenly, my grandmother just started cracking up. My mom asked what she was laughing at and my grandmother said, "I just thought about Emily passing out over frying some shrimp !" HAHA. If anyone wondered where I got my twisted sense of humor from, I think there's the answer.

It was also so cold there (I'm the only one who was cold, apparently .. I'm always cold) and I was shivering the whole time I was there. So when it was time to go, I got in the car and cranked up the heat and started driving home. I started thinking about telling them the good news in ten days and I just started crying. I was still crying when I got home and Chris took one look at me and said, "What happened !".

I jumped in the shower since I was so cold and the hot water felt so good. It wasn't until I was almost ready to step out that I realized .. I already showered today ! Since I didn't shower last night (it was too late after raid), I woke up and showered first thing this morning. Two showers in one day. Wow. That's like some record or something for me !

I made a small confession to Chris. This morning, I had peed in my Dixie cup as usual to dip my pee sticks in. I took the cup afterward to dump it in the toilet and instead .. I dumped it in the trash can. I don't know what's up with me ! I've been doing really odd things lately where I think one thing and do another. I stared at the trash can for a while, then shrugged and threw the cup in. Chris said, "Emily!" and shook his head. He looked inside the trash can and said, "Well, there's not much pee in there and it doesn't smell." Then he went to heat up my heat pad. :D

I should also mention that as of today, my toothbrush is mold free ! We use those electric toothbrushes (I think the ones we're using right now are Oral-Bs) and they're wonderful because they seem to work well (no cavities since I started using one) but awful because they gather gunk at the base and inside the toothbrush and it's so gross. There have been times where I've made myself gag just smelling my toothbrush (but I'm usually too lazy to replace the head). For a while now, gunk has been building up at the base and it is visually so revolting that I consciously try not to put the toothbrush deep inside my mouth.

Well yesterday, Chris saw it (or maybe he had already seen it but he finally hit his maximum disgust) and used boiling hot water and cleaned it for me, yay !!! So this morning when I went to brush my teeth, I saw my sparkling clean toothbrush and felt happy. <3

Appleseed


Today, our little one is the size of an appleseed, about .13 inches long.

We are exactly five weeks along. So this morning, I peed on my last FRER (cries!) and my last Wondfo. Well .. I can't promise it's the last one, I guess :p, but I'm really going to try to pull back from my poas addiction. The lines are so dark now that they will probably continue to look the same. This was the email I received from TheBump today (appleseed pic is also from that email):



It's a very quiet day today and I'm not feeling as crazily hungry as I was yesterday. Last night at around 11:30, I ate pizza ! We had Thai Basil for company lunch and the papaya salad was especially good (the curry was so spicy today). I almost ran out of the house without my Endometrin since I'm going to go visit my grandmother today (I always feel so weird inserting it in her bathroom).

Things are good ! I'm feeling more bonded with the Oct DDC on TMP (there are still so few of us but it's still early) and I can't wait until we really start to get the ball rolling. Oh, and tomorrow we're going to pay off our IVF (yay !).

Life is good.


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Magic Number (Delta Beta)

I was apprehensive last night going to bed because today was my last beta. But I passed out fairly easily (I don't remember tossing and turning at least) and woke up nice and early this morning. I grabbed my Gatorade and drank the whole thing (well the 3/4 left) on my way to the hospital, grabbed my blue slip upstairs and sat down. When I heard my name called by the ladies up in the front, I was annoyed. They asked me again if I wanted to have my P4 and E2 drawn. I figured I didn't need to, but since I didn't want to have to keep going over this (and because I was going to have to get stuck anyways, so why not), I said to do it.

Remember that lady who stuck me twice that one time ? She called me in and I saw her and got nervous. But she did a very good job this time and got it on the first try (maybe it was the Gatorade). She looked at me and told me that she remembered me and I thought, I remember you too, lady !

I was calculating yesterday that I needed to hit at least 660 today for it to be a normal rise. This is because on Saturday it was 220, and this is three days after (rather than two). So imagine my total shock (and relief ... and happiness) when Sabrina called and told me that my HCG was at 1308. Holy cow ! I don't know what's going in there, but I am ecstatic. Grow pumpkin, grow !

These have been my doubling times so far : 45.74, 36.76, 28.

I had to run some more unpleasant errands during the day (around two to three) and when I got back to the office, I felt really crampy and not well, and so I drank some water and relaxed a little. I started feeling really weird and ate an apple. I starving again, even though I had a whole bagel for breakfast, followed by Greek yogurt, followed by salad.

When I got home, Chris already had dinner made (did I mention I love that guy !) and I felt a lot better after I ate. After eating, I passed out for and hour and a half, and then woke up for raid. :p

I took this infertility registry questionnaire a while ago and they mailed me fifteen dollars cash. What is it with everyone mailing cash these days ? Not that I don't appreciate it, but sometimes I'll randomly open something that looks like junk mail and there'll be a dollar in it.

Oh ! When talking to Sabrina, she told me to schedule either my first ultrasound for next Friday (February 10th) or the Monday after that. Of course, I chose the 10th. :p I can't wait !

Today is the last day of January. Farewell, January. You have been so good to me. <3

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eco-Emi

Yesterday I received my January Eco-Emi box .. always an exciting occasion. :) Below is what I got (Sis, avert your eyes !).


My friend A also told me awesome news - both her and her husband got new jobs ! This is great news for many reasons, including the fact that they could do IVF sooner (that is, if I don't see her BFP this cycle). I was thinking today how strange it was that as soon as the new year hit that things seem to start going well for me (I'm so thankful .. last year was horrible!) and those I know. I am so grateful and happy about that.

With that said, it's a sad day for the forums. We had gotten the first negative and first angel. =/ I get the feeling like the mood is getting more and more sober as the cycle goes on. I think all the girls now have done their ER and we have a bunch of people in the 2ww .. never fun.

I have gotten close to these girls I've never met, and in some ways, I prefer their online friendship to friends in real life. We have shared a journey together .. a very personal journey, and we are all very different, but our short time together has made me consider them friends.

Today is a great day.

Today didn't start off so great. I woke up, hauled my butt around to do some very unpleasant things and talked to some unpleasant people, and called my IVF nurse to ask what was going on with my Endometrin and whether or not I should still be taking my dexamethasone (still no response on that yet).

Then I went to work where it's scarily chill (the calm before the storm since this is our major crunch time) and hunkered my butt down to do my normal daily activities. So, you may ask, why is today a great day ?

Well, I can't say. But it really is.

Cheri 22

For those of you who frequent ttc forums, you've probably heard of Cheri 22. She's supposedly a baby psychic, and I went a little crazy with her a while ago. I'm not sure how much I believe in psychic stuff, but I got one free and one paid reading from her a while ago. I was trying to see if she would give me two completely different months.

This was my free reading from Cheri:

They show you guys with a BOY and they relate him to OCTOBER so this is either birth month, the month conceived, or the month you find out in.

This was my paid reading from Cheri:

They show you guys having a BOY and they relate him to December so this is either birth month, the month conceived, or the month you find out in.

When it comes to your son, they show him as someone who is a bit more on the quiet side and tends to remain close to you and your husband. I don't really get the sense that he is shy, but is not really the type to go bounding off to play with the kids. Kinda more relaxed and a bit more hesitant at first, figuring out what the kids are playing and which one he might like to play with. Hes more matter of fact when he talks. Someone who seems to be able to express his ideas in a way that is more logical. Always making a good impression on the people that he interacts with. Always impressed with his ability to understand things that are more mature than his years.

You will find him to always be the type that will be willing to take the leap of faith and do things that the other kids are freaked out about trying. Hes got guts and is someone who tends to not shy away from the more difficult tasks. You can pretty much 'assign" him anything and hes going to try his best to succeed at it, and often being more than what people expect.

Hes good with sports, but they show him preferring to play things that are more individual sports or something you can play against one other person. hes not really big on playing sports (teams) but does love to watch football.

When it comes to career paths, they show him linked to working in the medical field (seems to be like a Dr. profession) but they show him linked to working for the government/military on more top secret type work.

When it comes to marriage I am seeing him closer to 25. They will have two boys and one girl of their own.
***

I thought she was crazy (still do, really), but it's kind of creepy how our cycle started in December (true, it wasn't the month of conception though) and we're not expecting a pumpkin. I hate to say it but the main reason I think she's a bit of a loony is because she can't spell or write very well (I already corrected a lot of spelling and grammatical mistakes but gave up). Plus, she can say any month and cover 1/4 of a year (she could always say she was just off by a month). It was fun to do, though, and gave me something new to obsess over while I was TTC.

Have you done a Cheri 22 reading ? What did yours say ?

Today, I was thinking about my magical pee. My pee makes two lines appear on a stick that would never show lines for me. It makes me want to pee on everything. It was the first day the FRER test line was darker than the control line. (The Wondo is actually tomorrow's).




We went to see The Descendants today. I don't know if I really liked the movie. It wasn't bad, per se, but it was slow, and I don't like slow movies (I'm too impatient !). Still, it was fun to get out of the house and do stuff with Chris, and we went to Costco twice today. Oh yes, twice. We bought 10 two packs of AMC movie tickets since they were on sale, and they gave us 11 packs, score ! The movie was on Costco today.



Sunday, January 29, 2012

I love you, Dr. T (Gamma Beta) !

If I haven't said it before, I love my RE. Dr. T may not always run on time :p, but she's so competent and I trust her completely. Add to that the fact that she responds to email past midnight, and you can see why I adore her. I spent most of today wondering what my beta was (and estradiol and progesterone) and she just emailed me to apologize for a busy day at the clinic and to explain she just had time to review my results.

HCG = 220
E2 = 1067
P4 = >20

Yay ! That makes me feel a lot better knowing that my HCG more than doubled from two days ago. I did suspect, though, since I used a Wondfo this evening and it was really dark.

Dr. T told me to do another blood draw on Tuesday, the 31st, and to schedule an ultrasound in two weeks. Two weeks !!! I'm so excited. I hope we can see gummy's heartbeat at that ultrasound.

I'm starting to feel a little something. I don't know if it's from the added estrogen patches or what, but I can definitely feel activity in my tummy, and I've been eating periodically throughout the day (when Chris hears I'm hungry he starts to panic). My stomach also growls all the time and I keep passing out in bed (but that may be due to me reading).

I don't know whether she means two weeks from today or two weeks from Tuesday's blood draw, but I have big plans for my reveal and so I'm going to see if I can schedule it Saturday - Monday in about two weeks.

I've been feeling bad about posting beta results in my normal forum so I told them that today's would be my last. Next week is going to be an extremely exciting week as many girls are going to test. I know how excruciatingly slow the 2ww can go (I drove myself crazy) and how you always hope for the best but prepare yourself for the worst. I hope that the girls all get BFPs, especially my friend S, who I know has been very stressed out about it. She has the cutest little girl who always looks so happy. There are so many oops babies born to people who don't want them or can't provide for them. We are a group of women who have struggled and struggled for this dream. Universe, make it happen. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Deals

In case anyone wants to get one year of Good Housekeeping for $5 (or two for $10), here is the link: https://www.eversave.com/san-jose/bluedolphinjan?cmd=view.

There's also a current deal going on at Costco.com where you can purchase 10 AMC movie tickets for $62.99. That's not bad ! :)

Gatorade

I don't think I've mentioned this in his blog (or maybe I have, I'll have to go back and check), but Gatorade is my new favorite drink. Kind of. I hate it, too. I've been drinking this stuff nonstop ever since my egg retrieval and very little water like I normally do due to my RE's suggestion. I'm not used to drinking something so sweet, but I think I'm getting used to it. The past few days, I haven't been very good on keeping up with my Gatorade purchasing, and so I woke up extremely thirsty today.

I got up at 7 AM and got ready for my third beta. I drove my butt down there (amazing how fast I can get there when there is no traffic), got my blood drawn, and came home. I figured they would call me by noon like they normally do. I was wrong. I think it's because I had written the authorizing doctor as my RE, Dr. T, but she's not working this weekend (Dr. S is on rotation), and so maybe the results got sent to her. In any case, it hasn't been published to me, and so I'm sitting here semi-worried that the news isn't going to be good news.

If you're going to get your blood drawn, be sure you drink water beforehand. I didn't know this, and so when she was trying to find the vein in my arm today, she had a hard time. Apparently water makes your veins nice and hydrated and bouncy (not coffee though, that dehydrates you more). I'll have to remember that for next time ! Which brings me back to the Gatorade (not really, but play along). I'm not 100% sure why Gatorade is so good for us IVF girls, but it has something to do with the electrolytes keeping our bodies hydrated (dehydration is a big worry, I guess), and prevents fluid from building up in our abdominal cavity (or worse, lungs). Water is such a pure resource that it can be absorbed in our ovaries, thus making them feel heavier. That is why water is not recommended.

Whey protein and juices are also good. I've started drinking orange juice because it's not sweet and balances all that Gatorade. Oh, and if you get Gatorade, try to get the G2 series. The other ones have 200 calories per bottle ! The G2 series have 75 (for the biggest one). Considering I was chugging the normal ones while I was sitmming, I was probably ingesting about a eight hundred calories of Gatorade a day. Whey protein is .. gross. There's no way around it. If you want to drink it, I'd recommend milk (or better, soy milk.. it dissolves better) over water. Chris made me smoothies with fresh fruit, pineapple juice and ice cream. Mmm. Those weren't half bad.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dr. Oz can suck a fat one.

I know this is going to be shocking to some people, but I hate Oprah. Like really hate her. I loathe her. When I see her, I do not think kind thoughts, and anyone that's associated with her I dislike immediately. Which is why when I turned on the TV tonight and saw that Dr. Oz was starting, I gestured for Chris to change the channel. Except .. he wasn't fast enough, and we saw that the topic was about infertility. I motioned for Chris to put the controller down and we began to watch the episode.

Boy, am I regretting it now, because I'm fired up ! I started seeing so much red that I don't think I could even tell you about the second half of the show because I was ranting to Chris and he was trying to calm me down (lol, I did vent to the girls on FT). So the show started and there was woman (I call her the conservative woman) and she's talking about how it's wrong for older women to have children via assisted reproduction and how follicle stimulating drugs cause cancer, etc. and I hate how people in the audience were clapping for her. I don't even know how you can justify it. I don't recall the exact things she said because I got so angry but she said so many things that were not true that made me go, WTF ? I don't even know what her credentials were.

They also had an RE there (Dr. John Jain, if I remember correctly) and he was rather calm and trying to talk to her but she was so adamant that she was right. The people in the audience were, for the most part, asshats. There was this 40-year old woman who was like, "Oh I know that I won't have any issues getting pregnant even though I'm not trying right now because I don't feel 40." I started laughing. I don't even know what that means. It's obvious you haven't tried.

There were some audience members who have gone through multiple IVF sessions (some successful and some not). There was one lady who was talking about how she waited and she's glad because she wouldn't have been a very good mom at 27 and she said, "No man would be a good father at 28." That really annoyed me too. My husband is going to be a great father.

They also talked about donor eggs and the conservative lady (<- that's me being nice and calling her a lady rather than calling her out for the bitch she is, oops) was talking about how children born with sperm donors are empty because they search for their fathers (or something like that).

How can you explain to someone who has never experienced infertility how completely devastating it is ? It's soul numbing and has brought me so much despair, depression and made me feel like such a failure and less than worthy. It's a lonely disease and there have been many days where I felt like I just couldn't go on anymore and would just lay in bed and wanted to die.

I'm not saying that some of the things that they touched on aren't valid. Do I wish I tried to conceive earlier ? Yeah, I do. I would never have guessed myself to be infertile. But life takes you in unexpected directions.

Greek Yogurt

I'm not a big fan of yogurt, but Chris came home with a bunch of Chobani yogurt and I was convinced I wouldn't like it (I swear I had Greek yogurt once and it tasted like chalk). He told me that he read that it was very good for me right now and so I tried it .. and I'm hooked ! Yesterday, I had a mango one and today I'm sitting here eating a strawberry one (supposedly the best flavor, but I've only taken one bite so I'll let you know. ;)).

Today is the first episode of the new season of Spartacus on Starz, yay. I'm really glad there's so many good shows right now because it keeps me preoccupied. I'm super excited, because this next week is going to be a big week for many girls I know. I have everything crossed. Going for that 100%.

Poppyseed

I love you, poppyseed. I can't wait to poas tomorrow morning. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Second Beta

I had a horrible morning this morning. I woke up nice and early so I could put in my suppository before the blood draw, and left half an hour before my appointment. Since last time I took the more direct route to the freeway (and it was a little congested and took me about 5-10 minutes to actually get on the freeway), I thought I'd take a more local way to the freeway that is usually lighter on traffic. Boy, was I wrong. Half an hour (the time of my appointment), a few angry texts to Chris (for not being awake when I was feeling really frustrated and pissed off .. I -hate- being late) later, I was finally on the freeway. Except .. it wasn't moving. There was an accident up the freeway and so traffic was crawling.

I finally made it to the hospital (Chris called me halfway there and I was so annoyed I wasn't very nice, which is sad, especially since he surprised me by hiring cleaners last night so I could come home to a clean house and relax) at 8:30 AM and ran inside. I filled out the paperwork and waited. One of the ladies at the front called my name. That's when I knew my day was going to get worse. She explained to me that I had missed a P4 and E2 test on January 14th. My mind went back. I don't even know how that's possible since that was the day of my three day transfer and I don't know why they would have me do a blood draw that day. She asked if I wanted to do it. Since I had just had my P4 and E2 drawn (and I had specifically asked Sabrina if I needed it done today and she said no), I told her no, and so she wrote down that I "refused" and so then I said, "Well, okay, I'll do it." and then she said, "But usually this stuff is time sensitive and it's already way past that time."

Wow, gee, really ? Thanks for telling me, lady, because I'm so new to all this. /sarcasm. I told her I had just been there two days before and no one said anything to me so it was probably fine. She tried to call someone upstairs, but no one picked up. I went and sat back down. When the lady came to get me for the blood draw, she asked again about the two, and she went to try to get ahold of someone upstairs. She couldn't, and so I just did the HCG draw.

The vein in my left arm looked more pronounced than the one in my right arm, so I offered her both and she chose the left one. I felt the pinch of the needle going in (I can never look), and then I felt her push again .. and again. Ugh. I really hate that, and I haven't had a bad blood draw in a while (at least, not this IVF cycle). I offered her the other arm (my beat up right arm). She took out the needle, then started pushing on the side of my left arm and said she would try to get a vein there.

I started to panic, because I have never been stuck on the side of the arm before. I was going to say something, but I kind of shoved my right arm in her face and she used my right arm. That one worked first time. I came back to work and made up with Chris (yay). Then I waited.

I just got the results back. Last time, it was 43, and HCG is supposed to double every 48-72 hours, so I was looking for 86. I had hoped that it would be in the hundreds, but it came back at 89. I'm happy. At least it's doubling, although still low. I just can't help but worry. It's amazing to know that I -can- get pregnant (finally!), but I hope that I can carry it through to term. The worry never ends. :)

I'm waiting for the IVF nurse to call me now to ask her some questions and hear what she has to say. Thankfully, work isn't bad right now (it should be). Today, I get my shipment from Amazon ! May poas later. Today is the first day of my missed period.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday

It's hump day ! Except .. I can't hump anything (sad, doctor's orders). That's probably TMI. :p Today was a pretty relaxing day, even though I'm freaking myself out. I woke up and poas (I did think about not doing it !) and my FRER was lighter than yesterday's. :( That really freaked me out. I had also tested with a Wondfo. This pee was probably the most concentrated out of the three days I've tested and so I thought that the line would be extra dark. I was brushing my teeth watching the lines develop and noticed that it was light. Hmm. I squinted. I grabbed the other two tests (yesterday's was quite a bit darker). Chris, probably noticing that I seemed somewhat panicked, told me that the Wondfo was darker today than yesterday's. I think he's right, but still ...

V went in for her beta today and it came back at 191. I am thrilled for her ! She tested at 10dp3dt and I thought about how her beta was so high and mine was so low. This also alarmed me because then I started googling and saw that a lot of beta numbers were in the hundred at 13 dpo. Well, there really is no sense in freaking out (but I am anyways). I'll just hope that I implanted late. We'll find out tomorrow at my second beta.

Today was a pretty unproductive day. I didn't do much at work, and my boss left at 2:15 PM, and so I gave myself a break and left at 3 PM to go to my grandmother's place. We chatted for a while and I caught up on some internet errands. We don't normally eat until seven here, and by five I was starving. I'm also very sleepy.

I can't wait to go home and to take a nice hot shower. I wore a skirt today because I felt dirty wearing the same pair of jeans over and over (yesterday I wore my Lulu's though) and flats and so there was no room for socks. My feet are cold ! So the plan is to go home, take a nice hot shower and then to veg out with my heat pad in bed, watch Revenge, and check my forums.

Let's see .. what news to report today ? A had another super dark OPK (oh please let this be it for her) and a bunch of girls are waiting to test, retrieve or transfer. Infertility can be so lonely. I'm glad we have each other.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Alpha Beta

Today was an exhausting day. The good news is that I passed out last night (yay!) and woke up for my alpha beta (yes, that's right ! Since you don't actually feel relieved until the second beta, that one will be the actual beta ;)). Then I treated myself to the ultimate breakfast combo the local deli, where I ran into K, the VP of my company (I always have these awkward conversations with him, in part because, well, I'm awkward !) and then off to my semi-dreaded meeting with R. When I got into the office, my awesome boss J was there, and she said she'd go with me. The meeting actually went quite well. He told me that he thought I was doing a great job and that all this RN drama isn't my fault (we go through it every. single. year.) but told me that if I could get started a bit earlier it would help everyone out. He has a point and I do slack. I need to do better when July rolls around.

There's still IV tape on my right arm and it's been almost two weeks ! Maybe I'm just not a good scrubber in the shower. :( When I went to my blood draw this morning, the blood sucker I had made me nervous. I had only women blood suckers to this point, and it wasn't the fact that was male that bothered me, but that he was very fidgety, distracted and frazzled. I thought, oh man, I'm going to end up getting stuck a bunch of times. He was surprisingly good, though ! He also told me that the trick to getting any of that sticky tape residue off is to use an alcohol wipe on it and gave me a bunch (little did he know I have a whole boxful at home).

I've been feeling very weird lately. I want to say that it's like spacey with some twinges and cramps .. but generally off. It could be argued that I'm always a little bit "off" but more than usual. Anyways, then I did a lot of work (go me!), but then I couldn't read my forums like I normally do. 

I didn't only draw HCG today, but also P4 and E2. I thought both of those would end up okay since I use suppositories three times a day and my E2 is usually sky high, but it turns out that my P4 is at 19.3 (they told me they want to see it over 20 so I was a bit worried, but my RE wasn't significantly worried enough to change my protocol) and my E2 at 359. I was surprised that she wanted me to start using estrogen patches, but I got them (called Vivelle). I should have read the directions before I put the first one on. I didn't want it to put it on my chub patches, so I stuck it higher on my stomach. Then I read that you should put it below your waist, so I pulled it off (but I shouldn't have, because now it doesn't stick very well) and put it on my right chub.

I don't mind wearing the patch of course, but it was the first time that I felt somewhat concerned about the progression of this pregnancy. What if the numbers don't double? =/ I traded one worry for another. ;) I will feel much better after Thursday and then Saturday's betas. I went home and poas, naturally ! Today's line is just a shade darker, so I feel better. I kept switching them around and then asking Chris which one was darker and he got it right every time. Go Chris !

I'm spacing out again (but I'm also texting and playing WoW as I type this). Today on FT, we found out that V got her BFP ! Could there be sweeter news ? Now I need S and A and 2 and P and L and .. to get their BFPs too, please. Wishing it for all the January IVF FT girls and LTTTC TMP girls.

I bought another 3-pack of FRERs from Amazon ! That and a pregnancy journal .. and I'm probably going to get the Mayo Clinic book too (I heard it's a lot better than What to Expect When You're Expecting, which honestly is really annoying written.. but I still borrowed it from the library :p). Am I getting ahead of myself ? :)

Woo hoo, Parenthood is on tonight .. love that show !

Thanks Angela for the banner !

Monday, January 23, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Happy Chinese New Year ! Today marks the beginning of the year of the dragon, a very auspicious year, supposedly (can't disagree). It is mostly agreed that it is the luckiest of all twelve signs, and it's considered lucky to have a son born in this year. Last night, we went to celebrate the new year with my family and my mom, grandmother and aunt all said (in not so many words) that they hope it will be THE year for me. Little did they know ...

I've never been very good at keeping secrets, but then again, I'm not very good at POAS either and I held out pretty well ! This is one secret I'm determined to keep at least for a little while. I just want to have peace in my own mind that I don't think it will end in heartbreak.

I couldn't sleep at all last night. I started thinking about everything going on in my life right now and then no matter how hard I tried, I just tossed and turned. Chris has no problems, of course ! I'm so envious of that guy.. he can sleep anywhere. Part of what I was thinking was, what if tomorrow there no line ? What if there is ? I kept telling myself to hold in my pee, too, which made me want to go more.

Around 7 AM, I had had enough, and Chris's alarm went off, and so I immediately started telling him how bored I was the whole night and how he should have entertained me (seriously!). He said, "Go pee on the stuff so I can see it before I go off to work!" so I jumped out of bed, grabbed this plastic Panera cup I took a few months ago, peed in it, and then crawled back into bed with it (have you seen the sheer panic on a guy's face when they think you're going to spill urine on them?).



I peed on an IC (Internet Cheapie), FRER (First Response Early Response) and CB Digital (Clearblue Digital). That's in order of sensitivity, I think. We watched the news and then Chris looked .. and he had a big smile on his face so I looked .. and there were two lines for the line tests, and it said "Pregnant" on the digital. I had never seen two  lines on an FRER or the "Pregnant" before.

Of course, I made Chris pose with the two sticks and he did some really funny ones where he looked like he was freaking out (in a bad way) over the results (he looks like he's screaming) .. can't wait to start a scrapbook for this.

I emailed my RE to confess that I had been testing early and she said she would move my beta up to tomorrow (didn't even know I had one Wednesday) so we'll see what the numbers look like tomorrow. :)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

BFP?

I am in completely shock and I can't stop crying. I was watching the Raven v. Patriots game (wtf btw, I feel so sorry for kickie guy) and I was thinking about this story my mom told me. My father was killed by a drunk driver when I was eight down in Los Angeles (where we were on vacation). She told me that she felt such despair and depression that she spent a lot of time in bed afterwards (my father passed away 12/28). That year, the 49ers went to the Superbowl, and won. My mom is a HUGE 49ers fan and she watched the game from bed. When they won, my mom said that was the one thing that gave her joy and hope.

This year, I was joking with Chris that the 49ers would go to the Superbowl. It's a joke because even though they are my team, they have been far from Superbowl worthy in the past ten years or so, but shockingly, they'll be playing at 3:30 PM today to go to the Superbowl. I thought, sentimentally, wouldn't it be wonderful if I had a BFP and the 49ers went to the Superbowl and won again ? It'd be like a message down from heaven.

I crawled out of bed and POAS. It was my third pee of the day, so I figured that even though it would be blank, I could still have hope because my urine is probably just diluted and tomorrow morning, when I planned to test, would be the true test. I peed on it, watched as the dye spread across and it looked blank, and so I put it next to my bed and crawled back in bed.

Three to five minutes later, I looked at it again. I swore I saw a faint second line, but my eyes are really bad (I have 800/20 vision) and so I went into the bathroom and turned on all the lights, squinted, and looked again. I still thought maybe I see something, so I went back to the bedroom, turned on all over overhead lights, and looked again. I started to feel emotional.

I walked into the computer room, where Chris was playing LoL and waved my peestick in his face. He squinted (with his 20/10 vision) and said, "I see a line right here." I said, "No ! That's the dye pack." He squinted some more. "Okay, I see a line here," he said, pointing to where I thought I saw a line. My lip started shaking and I tried to hold in my tears. I said, "I see it too."

I tried to get a picture of it with my iphone but it wouldn't come up. Chris took a picture with his Canon Rebel T1 and you can see it a lot more clearly in there (but I don't know if I trust that since to my eyes it looks a lot lighter).



I called my sister, the only person I would tell in person this early in the game, and cried on the phone with her. She said, "I thought that might be why you called."

I don't know what to think. After eighteen long months, could this be it ? I'm in tears just typing this. Please don't let it be a fluke. We have wanted children for so long and I have never "worked" so hard for anything. I want to be a mother so badly.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

5dp5dt

Yesterday, I started obsessing big time. I think it's because I don't feel any symptoms no matter how much I prod myself (or try to feel them) and that brought me a little down. We have always known that there was a possibility of IVF not working, and my RE told us the success change was around 35% (though online it says at my age with my number of eggs it's as high as 65%), but we always hoped to be part of that 35%, of course. :)

I really wanted to POAS yesterday but held off. Today is 5dp5dt and I still feel nothing (though I still do wake up every night to pee and the I feel weird squirting feelings [won't go into that, don't worry] and cramping and can't fall back asleep). I googled "5dp5dt" and the top result was made by a poster six years ago where she said she felt nothing and was feeling down. It turns out that she got her BFP that cycle. Five years later, someone else posted and said that they were glad to find that website because she was also 5dp5dt and felt nothing .. she also got her BFP that cycle, so I had to post in hopes that their lucky dust passes to me !

I love the weekends. Yesterday was such a hectic day at work but I got what I needed to out and that is a relief. These next five weeks or so are going to be hell. One day at a time. Chris is sleeping again .. he woke up at noon (finally) and we went out for a little while (we are so spoiled ... mom made us lunch), and then he came back and passed out again around three. I'm just laying next to him watching Supernanny.

Tomorrow is my family's Chinese New Year celebration and soon it will be the year of the dragon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Cult Initiation

I was talking to my friend A when she mentioned she read this book called Fertility Wisdom by Angela Wu. I nearly choked on whatever I had in my mouth at the time (you are soo dirty) and told her this story about when I went to meet the author of the book.

***

I first heard about Dr. Wu on some forum when I was goggling something. I was intrigued and so I googled her some more and discovered that she owned a clinic in SF and it was supposed to be some miraculous clinic. I bought her book from Amazon and read it cover to cover. I debated about whether or not I wanted to make an appointment, because each of her appointments was $400+ (not counting any herbs), and I would have to drive an hour each way and take time off of work. In the end, Chris and my mom both told me that if I was interested that I should try it out at least once and so I made my appointment. On that fateful day, I drove to SF, found parking (finally) and headed to the door. My hand was almost on the handle when I heard someone say, "Emily." and so I turned .. and my first instinct was to run.

You know that picture she has on her book? She looks nothing like that. In fact, she looks crazy. Her hair was sticking straight up all helter-skelter and she wore dark heavy eye makeup rimming her large eyes that were peering into my SOUL. Her bright pink lipstick looked hastily put on and went outside of her lip lines (you could see it cracking with her skin). But it was too late. I acknowledged that I was Emily and she took me upstairs where I signed a bunch of consent forms and her people took over. Everyone was very nice, but in an uncomfortable sort of niceness way. But I told myself to relax because I wanted this opportunity and I was going to go into it with a clear mind. They brought me into this very small salmon color painted room and told me to take off my clothes and to lie on the table. I did, and the first guy came in.

Guy #1 was the most normal out of the bunch. He was some tall white guy and he told me that every organ was associated with a color and a sound (I think she mentioned this in the book as I remember it not being completely new to me). So then he had me envision the colors as he pressed on parts of my body .. I was inhaling in the color and breathing out a smoky version of that color while making the associated noise. We did this for what seemed like all my body parts. Part of me kind of wanted to giggle because I felt so weird breathing out vvvvvv (and it tickled). So then that guy did cupping. I wasn't sure what I expected from cupping, but it didn't feel bad. It wasn't until later when I went home and Chris saw my back that he screamed and asked what happened to me.

Guy #2 was where it really began to fall apart for me. This short Asian guy came in named Hugh and at first I thought he was gay, but now that I reflect back, I don't think he was. It was just the way he spoke. The first thing he said to me was, "Emily, Emily, let me ask you. Why do we breatheee?" He has this soft wispy breathy voice. My mind was frantically trying to work and I said, "Um, because we're alive?" He said, "YES! YES! You are right! We breatheee because we're allliiivveeee." I really wanted to laugh but I said, "Oh yes." He then said, "Emily, Emily, let me ask you. Why do we exhale?" and feeling pretty confident, I said, "To get rid of the bad stuff in our bodies?" and he yelled, "NO! Breathing is gooood. Do you understand, do you see? Breathing is good, so breathing or exhaling cannot be bad because breathing is liiiifeeee." I said, "Oh, okay. Yeah. I see." and he said, "We breathe out, to breathe more life IN." I said, "That makes sense." He said, "That makes sense, right?" and I said, "Yes." Then he asked, "Do you smile?" and I said, "I smile all the time.. I love to smile." and he said, "But do you inner smile?" and I said, "Uh, I don't think so." He said, "When you smile, do your organs smile? Do you smile and think, thank you heart, for pumping blood to all my vital organs?" and I said, "Uh, no." Then he started talking about how I should and other stuff and I was just thinking, this shit is crazy. The whole time he was supposedly doing acupressure but I didn't feel much and he kept joking about how he was taking it easy on me and how he was going to beat me up next time.

Then Dr. Wu came back in. She took my pulse and looked at me and said, "Are you thirsty?" I was thinking, no shit Sherlock, it's blazing hot in here and my lips are all dry. I said, "Yes." She nodded knowingly and said, "Yes, I could tell." I could tell she was very proud of herself. She then looked at my tongue and said, "You smoke." I said, "No." She said, "You used to smoke." I said, "No." She said, "You're around people who smoke." I said, "No." She said, "Your lungs are polluted." I didn't have a comeback for that. She said, "You should see my son, too. He has skills and powers I don't even possess. I can tell him to make time for you this morning." I thought, yeah, and charge me another $200. I said, "I'm sorry but I have an appointment at one so I have to leave after this." She looked at me sternly. She said, "Okay, next time then." I agreed, though I knew I wasn't coming back. She did acupuncture, which was pretty normal, except she really liked to do the ear whereas my previous acupuncturists didn't. But hey, I thought, maybe she knew better. I thought that I would be able to talk with her afterwards where she gave me my diagnosis, but she slipped out right after she put the needles in, and later I found out that there was a "three question rule" every time you saw her, and you couldn't ask her more than that. But I didn't even get to ask my three questions !

After acupuncture, I figured I could leave. I got up, got dressed, and texted my mom and sister and said, "Holy shit, I think I just got initiated into a cult." Then I went outside. One of the ladies from before greeted me and told me that I wasn't done yet. "Oh no," she explained, "you still have to watch our 30 minute DVD." I watched the DVD. I felt like I was being brainwashed. They asked me if they could get me something to drink. I thought that I didn't want to drink the koolaid so I said no. After that, it was time to check out.

I knew going in that she would recommend some Chinese herbs for me, and that was really what I wanted. My previous acupuncturist had the ground up herbs, but raw herbs are so much better. I figured she'd give me one or two, so imagine my surprise when she had an arsenal of 13 things up at the counter totaling more than $250. One thing I remember in particular is this oil called Joy, because "you put it on and it gives you joy", she explained to me. Oh. Okay.

Since I already knew that I wasn't going to come back, I said, "I'm sorry, but I'm not going to purchase those right now." She said, "Why not?" I thought quickly. I said, "Oh, because it's the end of the month and my credit card is so maxed out .. I'll just get it next week. I just don't have the money for it this week." She said, "But don't you want to get better?" This greatly annoyed me. I said, "Yes." She said, "You should at least buy the joy oil and <some herb>." I said, "No, I'll buy them all next week." She said, "Take all of them now and we'll just charge you next week." I said, "No." I paid and ran out of there as fast as I could. I jumped into my car and immediately called my husband. He said, "I would check your body for needle marks." That freaked me out!

Looking back now, the whole thing still makes me laugh but also makes me sad. I feel like she really preys on those who are desperate to have a child. I know that I have tried a lot of conventional and unconventional things because I want this so badly.

I went back to my normal acupuncturist after this incident and I was telling him how I met this quack doctor and how she was so crazy and freaked me out. He asked me her name and I said, Angela Wu. He said, "That's my aunt. I learned everything I knew from her." I'm not even joking. I can't make this up! HAHA.

Dimples

Something is wrong with me. Well, we probably all knew that, but considering it's the middle of January (when work is extremely hectic for me.. huge deadline at the end of the month), I have court coming up and am awaiting the results of this IVF cycle, I'm in a great mood ! The day started off well. I got into the car to drive to work this morning and I felt happy and confident. I sang loudly to all the songs on the radio without any panic attacks (the singing loudly to songs isn't unusual, but lately, it seems like I am always struggling to catch my breath). I knew I had a very full day ahead of me, and I was already being requested to send an update by the time I got to work, but I got a lot accomplished today while also taking a lot of time to do things I wanted to do.

I'm trying to take one day at a time. There is only so much I can do, and what I can't do .. well, I'm just going to have to be okay with doing it tomorrow. I was supposed to go to acupuncture today, but I ditched it ! I didn't mean to not go. I got into my car to drive to my appointment and it had started raining (first rain of the winter, practically) and the freeway was so backed up that I decided it wasn't worth it. Okay okay, and .. I really don't like acupuncture. I don't know how people can think it's relaxing .. what is relaxing about having a bunch of needles in you ? O.o I think I'm done with acupuncture, success or not.

I came home and Chris had ordered pizza so we just goofed off until pizza came. Chris and I are very close, but I felt like today we really had a lot of fun together doing absolutely nothing. It was mainly him lying down on the bed and me poking and bugging him, but we were laughing the whole time and we were both being silly.

Today, I sifted through about 72 pages of IVF success stories. I love to obsess. Today is 3dp5dt. Four more days until I test !

Fertility Friend

I have a love-hate relationship with Fertility Friend, but I like the way it visually keeps track of my cycles. In case I ever lose it (or if you want to stalk it), here it is: http://www.fertilityfriend.com/home/operationbaby.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Background

I should have added this as my first post but I figured better late than never ! This is my very brief introduction to me.

***

I wasn't one of those girls who grew up nurturing their baby dolls and who dreamed of becoming a mother one day. In fact, I distinctly remember ripping the heads out of my Barbie dolls (eek, what does that say about me? ). It wasn't something that I consciously didn't want but rather that I never gave it much thought, so you could imagine my surprise one day when I was 27 when out of the blue, BAM, it hit me. I wanted a child.

I had been dating my boyfriend (now husband) for some time at that point, and one night, I smoothly brought it up to him. It went something like this.

Him: What do you think we should watch tonight.. House?
Me: I want a baby!

... yeah. Once it was out there, I started laughing, because I could not think of any other reaction, and then I peered at him, and to my relief, he looked rather pleased (though he wasn't ready yet at the time).

We were married in 2010 when I was 29 and I thought for sure that I would have a child by the time I was 30 (pregnant at least). I remember being crushed the first month. What I didn't realize was that it was the beginning of a long string of disappointments. Month after month passed, and as much as I tried not to get my hopes up, every month I was convinced that that would be THE month, and this usually resulted in me curled up in bed crying for days at a time. We didn't know what was wrong. His SA had come back perfectly normal. I have always had very regular cycles.

We went to an RE in early 2010 and she was confident that she could get us pregnant in no time (towards the end of the year, she confessed that she thought we would be a very easy case when she met us). We decided to try Clomid, but that thinned out my lining. We did Follistim for a few cycles. I responded well every time. All of these we did with IUI, and month after month came back negative and I sunk even further into despair. Not only was I rapidly losing hope, but we were also spending so much money on these treatments that I was swimming in bills. Plus, DH was extremely worried about my mental state.

When I look back on my first six months of TTC, I think about all the hope I had then, and how it has faltered. I still remember the one year mark of us TTC and how I laid in bed thinking about how I'm such a failure. It is now 18 months since that time and some days I wonder if this is the universe's way of saying that it just isn't meant to be.

My RE could not find out what was wrong. I have had a lap, HSG, had a bunch of tests ran, and it all came back negative. Halfway through 2010, my husband and I decided that we may have to do IVF.

This terrified and excited me, because I always saw IVF as the thing we would do if everything else failed. By doing IVF, that would mean that everything else had failed. What if IVF failed as well? That was always my end all solution. If it didn't work, where would that leave me? I don't have an answer to that question, and it's still something that weighs on my mind all the time.

IVF shocked me with all the questions. ICSI? We said no, and my RE looked surprised, and she even said, "Can I ask why not?" That made me second guess myself (to this day I'm still wondering about it). I had always thought that ICSI was for people with low sperm count, and my husband has never had an issue in that department so I was surprised she brought it up multiple times. I think it's because she doesn't want me to have a cycle with no fertilized eggs. We said no to assisted hatching as well. We said we wanted to put back in 2 embies if we could (prefer blastocysts). When we were looking at IVF clinics, this one clinic said that they would only let me transfer back one blastocyst and that was the main reason we did not choose that clinic.

We began to save up for IVF and I took the last quarter of 2010 to do no fertility treatments. I secretly hoped that I would be one of those people who would "oops" get pregnant when I was planning for IVF, but that didn't happen. When December rolled around, I felt surprisingly numb to the whole thing. I think it was because I had looked forward to this moment for so long that I don't even know what to do with it now that I am actually here.

I wish I had more of a support group in real life, but most of my friends are male, and the one girl friend I'm close to has no idea how to relate to me. She knows of all the heartache we have been through and how badly we want this. She would constantly ask me in front of other people if I'm pregnant yet (thanks a lot! In fact she made me cry once when she asked me in front of all her relatives at her son's birthday party), and when I mentioned IVF, the first thing she said was, "If that fails, are you going to ask your sister for her eggs?" ... So.. I don't talk to her about anything TTC related anymore. She has a beautiful three year old boy and I know she's going to start TTC again in January, and I know it would kill me a bit inside if it just happened quickly for her. I even said as much over lunch one day, that I hope that she never has any difficulty conceiving because it has been a nightmare for me and she said, "I hope not either. That would be awful."

Wow thanks, you ******* ***** !

Caught up !

Whew, I think that's most of the information. There are so many things I've left out (for example, doing a hurried injection at my mom's friend's house) but I'm sure I'll add things as I remember them. :) Today is 2dp5dt and now that most of the excitement from anticipating appointment after appointment is over, in settles the fear. I would like to say that I've remained as relaxed as I have been for most of this, but I've been having awful panic attacks lately. I still remember the first time when I had a panic attack. Since then, I think they have gotten slightly worse. Throughout our TTC journey I've had panic attacks. In the beginning, we thought, oh weird, it didn't happen the first month. Then a second month came and went. Then a third. I started to despair and I fell into bad depression (so bad that I eventually started seeing a therapist and Chris was so worried about me). There would be days at a time when I would just lay in bed and cry. I felt so betrayed by my body. I felt like such a failure.

I think it's because I would often lay in bed that I now associate laying in bed with panic attacks. My chest tightens and I feel unable to draw a breath. I start to panic because I'm convinced that there's not enough air and no matter how I try to calm myself, nothing does the trick. If you ever have a panic attack, don't try to breathe in slowly and out .. it doesn't work, In fact, I think it makes it worse because trying to slowly draw air in makes me feel like I'm suffocating even more.

Have you heard of a yoga breath? It's where you use your lungs to draw a breath instead of your diaphragm. It really helps! I try to also recite things to myself now. For example, I tell myself that things aren't in my hands and that I have no control over what happens. Does it work? Sometimes. I've been having panic attacks at the worst times lately (and often when nothing is happening). I'll just be sitting at work when I feel one coming on, or chatting with my grandmother. It's the worst when I'm talking because then my words come out in short bursts and I'm struggling to breathe.

My RE did prescribe me Xanax for a short while but you know how much I dislike taking medication. :( I did take it for a few days but felt no difference. It was a very very low dose, though, since you're technically not supposed to take those types of meds while TTC.

I still don't have a solution to them and it's worrying me because I hope it won't fear with implantation. I read somewhere that you want your body to be in its most comfortable state and I imagine that since my breathing is so erratic that my blood is pumping erratically. Sometimes I wonder if I have a heart murmur or if my heart beats unevenly. I should really ask my doctor one of these days.

That brings me to my big fear: implantation. Since everything else has (shockingly but appreciatively) been fine up to this point, could implantation be our problem? I'm currently on a medication that helps with implantation (dexa). I also drank pineapple core yesterday and the day before (acupuncturist said to only drink it those two days). Aside from that, I don't think there's much I could do. =/ I did also read today that once you transfer it back into your body that there's nothing you can do to change the outcome. If it's a genetically healthy embryo, it will implant. Is that true ? I hope so !

I don't think my clinic does betas like most clinics do. They told me to take an HPT two weeks from the day of my ER, which would be next Wednesday, January 25th. However, I don't think I can wait that long ! I plan on testing Monday, January 23rd (coincidentally, it's also Chinese New Year - Dragon). I'm hoping that with both new years over with that this year will be very special and better than the last. I do have to say that this year so far has been very good to us, though.

Speaking of Chinese New Year, I was eating at a Chinese restaurant with my mom and grandmother a few weeks ago when I read that monkeys (I'm a monkey) are best suited with dragons and rats and worst suited with tigers. Chris is a rat (probably the only time I can say it and have it be a positive thing) and I can't say enough good things about him. I can't fathom how he puts up with me, but I'm glad he does ! So it's true that we are a very good pair. My sister is a tiger, and I'm not sure that I would say that we are unsuited because I consider us extremely close and I don't know what I would do or where I'd be without her. It's true that we are very different and there are lots of opportunities where we could potentially argue so I guess I could see how we could be unsuited. I'm glad we don't fight, though ! And it makes me think that if we have a LO this year, s/he/they (O.o) would be (a) dragon(s). How perfect would that be ? <3

I wanted to end this post by saying how thankful I am of the things I do have. Although this has been a very long and difficult road for us, it doesn't mean that I don't realize all the things I do have. I am thankful every day of the continued good health of those I love. I am grateful for my very close knit and loving family. I have a dream position with a company I hope I can stay at forever and working with people who could not be better coworkers (and my boss is amazing). I feel fortunate that we are financially able to pay for all we need to (including IVF). I am very lucky to have a supportive husband and great friends (my long time friends and new friends like my friend A from Miami who is unbelievable, the wonderful ladies of TMP, and the ladies of the January Cycle Buddy Group on Fertile Thoughts who have kept me sane). It's really these things that has gotten me through every day.

Meds

Let's talk meds ! It's hard for me to keep them all straight and to remember how much dose of what I used when.

BCP: 12/06/11 - 12/25/11 (inclusive)
Lupron: 12/19/11 (took 10 iu a day until stims started, then 5 iu a day all the way until HCG trigger)
Dexamethasone: 12/30/11 - 01/10/12 (day before retrieval) and again 1dp5dt
Menopur: 12/30/11 - 01/08/12 (75 iu / 1 cc per day)
Methylprednisolone: 01/11/12 - 01/16/12 (started day of ER and for five days after)
Doxycycline: 01/13/12 & 01/15/12 (took it in case we did a 3dt and took it day before 5dt)
Follistim: 12/30/11 - 01/01/12 150 iu
              01/02/12 - 01/05/12 100 iu
              01/06/12 - 01/08/12 75 iu
              01/09/12 150 iu
Novarel: 01/09/12 (mixed 2 cc of water into vial, then withdrew 1 cc)
Endometrin: 01/12/12 (one) and 01/13/12 + (three a day)





Monday, January 16, 2012

Egg Transfer

I don't know how I remained calm these past few days. In fact, I feel strangely calm. I woke up at 8:30 AM to get to a 9:30 AM acupuncture session. Then I drove myself to VASC (Chris met me there). We got there around 10:30 AM for our 11:20 AM appointment. We were in such a good mood, and this time when we went back, we were placed in the middle of the three sectioned off areas. We were joking around waiting to hear what embryos we still had (I was hoping for six). Julie was there again (yay Julie!) and since there weren't that many questions to ask this time, Chris and I spent most of the time waiting just amusing ourselves. Dr. T was running late again (more than half an hour this time) and so we began to eavesdrop on the conversations next to us. We determined that both side just had egg retrievals. The lady on the right appeared to be by herself (or with a girlfriend). The couple on the left, who we could hear more clearly because we were closer to them, were waiting for their doctor to come tell them how the egg retrieval went. Chris was laughing at one point because the girl was mumbling something and the guy said, "Don't talk. You have a mask over your face." HAHA.

Well, their doctor came, and right away I knew it was not good news. I feel like when your doctor sees you and doesn't immediately sound enthusiastic that something was wrong, and in their case, they retrieved no eggs. The lady began to cry, these awful heartbroken sobs, and Chris and I got very quiet because the mood turned so solemn and I felt terrible for her. I cannot even imagine the disappointment, and she cried for at least the 45 minutes we were waiting there.

It made me think of when Dr. T came to tell me about my eggs. She said that they had slid out very easily and so it didn't seem to be an egg quality issue. For so long now, it seems that we have been trying to diagnose me, and IVF was supposed to be the tell-all of what was wrong with me, as opposed to an unexplained infertility diagnosis. Then, when we were waiting for the fertilization reports, we feared that they wouldn't fertilize and that fertilization was our issue. Thankfully, that wasn't the case. Then, we feared that they wouldn't grow normally. We were blessed that that was also not the issue.

Dr. T finally showed and the embryologist (the one who called me the first day) showed up and they told us that we still had seven perfect embryos (IVF: 3x4A, 2x4B; ICSI: 1x4A, 2x4B). We walked into the room (I was laughing hysterically because they made Chris wear this see through clean room looking suit with booties and a hair net) and got to see the two we were transferring (we froze five embsicles)! They were so beautiful and perfectly round and small. We also saw when they were dropped into my uterus. They looked like tiny little bubbles.

And just like that .. I'm PUPO !

I forgot to mention that they had me drink Gatorade in preparation for the ET, and then when Dr. T ended up being so late, I opted not to go "a little" (because how can you stop once you go a little!) and so I wanted to explode by the time ET was finished. I had to stay lying down with my feet propped up for 15 minutes, but then Chris was like, "Go go go!" and it felt sooo good. I did go to acupuncture again afterward.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Day 3 report

I got up very early today, January 14th, 2012 because I had a blood draw to get to. It would later turn out that the numbers weren't great for this blood draw but they think that it's because I just had an ER, but the numbers for my liver were a bit helter-skelter. I drove home and bought bagels for breakfast. We wait until 9:30 AM, then decided we should drive to VASC in case we ended up doing a 3 day transfer.

On the way there, the weekend embryologist called. She was difficult to understand, but the main point was that out of our 16 embryos that fertilized, 9 were top grade (8A) on day 3 ! We did have a few others that were still growing, but the numbers were not as good. As a result (I think we had to have at least 8 to have the option to continue to day 5), we will be doing a day 5 blastocyst transfer. Ahh, I can't believe it ! Everything has gone better than I expected.

IVF:
4x8A
1x6C
2x4B
2x4C

ICSI:
5x8A
1x4A

I spent the day hanging out with my mom and my sister. My mom has no idea that I'm doing IVF (no one in my family does, except my sister). We went shopping and then watched Moneyball.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fertilization report

I could not wait for the embryologist to call me this morning ! I went back to work and I am feeling good, but I've been obsessively checking my phone to make sure I didn't miss a call (horrible reception here) and around 10:30 AM, the call came.

I am so sorry to say that I can't remember the name of the embryologist that called me (I want to say Ronald?) because he was also the one who ended up being there when we did the ET and he was great. He told me that out of the 8 we had ICSI, 6 fertilized. Out of the 18 others, 10 fertilized. These were great numbers and I was ecstatic. I called Chris to share the news.

We will not get an update tomorrow and we have a tentative appointment on Saturday at 10:30 AM to do a three day transfer. Grow, my sixteen little embabies. I love you already.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Egg Retrieval

I can't believe that I slept last night. The date is 1/11/12. I was nervous. I was excited. I was .. a little bit of everything, I suppose. We woke up early and drove to VASC together and checked in. It was the same place we went to meet Dr. Kim when we were interviewing him and then a lady from the lab came and got us. We walked down the hallway, made a right, then a left, and there we were. It was a very simple room with three sections rooms separated with curtains and we were in the right most one. This wonderful nurse, Julie (I adore her!), came and put my bracelet on and asked me a bunch of questions. I got into the gown, put on the gray socks they gave me, the hair net thing, and sat on the gurney and waited. There really were a lot of questions. Chris sat to my right. Dr. T was running half an hour behind and so there was a brief period where we were left alone with no questions to answer. We met the embryologist (Jen), the operating room nurse (can't remember her name right now), and the anesthesiologist.

The absolute worst part was when the IV went in. I knew it was going to happen, and Julie even joked with Chris whether he was a fainter because she said she had lost some husbands at that point. She was great, though. She numbed the area first and so I didn't feel the IV go in. It was just the thought that made me feel light headed. Afterward, she put the tape on and explained that there was no actual needle in my arm. She showed us this contraption where you use the needle to get into the vein but then you insert a small plastic tube in there so the patient can still bend their arms. It was neat ! I wish the tape was white, though, because I didn't like being able to see where it went into my arm. Oh well.

When Dr. T arrived, they had me empty my bladder again and then I walked myself into the operating room. It looked like a space laboratory and they undid my gown :( and had me sit up on the operating table (this would be the same room and table later used for ET). They asked me to scoot up on the table... and that was the last thing I remembered.

I woke up to see Chris peering at me from the left. I felt good ! I wasn't in pain though my ovaries had been throbbing a bit for the past few days. She gave me two Tylenol and I took them. She talked for a bit and then told me if I could use the restroom then I could go. There were a whole bunch of discharge instructions. The most useful one was that I shouldn't have anything but Gatorade or whey protein to drink. I had already been doing this, but still drinking a lot of water at work. That was a mistake. It turns out that water is too pure and can be absorbed by the ovaries.

Ah, I should probably mention that we retrieved 26 eggs ! Out of those, only 16 of those were mature, Jen said, and I asked if it was possible for them to mature before fertilization. She said yes. We opted to ICSI 8 of them (I should mention that we decided to split ICSI before this date because after thinking about it, we didn't want to even risk not having anything and we didn't know if fertilization was an issue, even if his sperm wasn't). We won't get a fertilization report until tomorrow. Fingers crossed !

Julie put me in a wheelchair (she had to, she said) and wheeled me to Chris's car. I took the pair of socks. :( Then we went home and I just sat in bed and watched TV and browsed the internet for the rest of the day (so pretty much like usual). :p

I did feel kind of a dull ache in my ovaries area so I've been drinking my Gatorade.