Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Does anyone else find this weird?

So our neighborhood has a Faceb.ook group page to help bring our little community together. I get posts from our group nearly every day for things like, "free recliner to a good home," or "anyone recommend a good plumber." Never, ever, would I have thought the following post to ever show up and I'm kind of weirded out by it.

Really? You don't have a friend or coworker that could use them? You do realize that teenage kids are part of this group right? Is it just me?

In other news, we are spotting free right now at 5w5d. I'm praying that this streak continues. I just got my PIO in the mail today and Hammer is out of town starting today as well. Looks like I'm going to get pretty good at giving myself IM shots. I also think that this wait until the ultrasound is getting more difficult. I just want to know what is going on. With everything that has happened to us it's hard not to think of this not being any different. Will there even be a baby? What if my levels are no longer rising? I wish that I could ignore these fears but miscarriage leaves it scars. I'm questioning what symptoms I have and wondering if they are pregnancy or progesterone related. My boobs are veiny but really only sore in the morning, I do have increased sense of smell but I had that in the 2ww, I've had a pretty big appetite, mild cramping and flutters, the last two days I had mild nausea in the morning but that could be due to the recent consistent dose of PIO before bed, and I have to drink nearly 100 oz of water to keep from being dehydrated. I don't have to pee all the time but I also have a retroverted uterus so maybe I won't feel that for a while. Today I noticed that my mouth is constantly watering and my ginger ale tasted horrible as well as some other foods. I'm just really ready for next Wednesday to know if this pregnancy is going well, until then we are doing A LOT of praying.

Monday, August 29, 2011


This week is all about waiting. Waiting for my PIO supply to come in. Waiting for the day when I can stop the suppositories. Waiting for the spotting to stop. Waiting for the upcoming ultrasound.

The spotting is really starting to mess with my head. We were able to get it to stop Friday morning and it stayed away all day Saturday until around 9pm; about 1 hour after I put in the 3rd suppository of the day. We were driving up to visit my in-laws who live about 3 hours away. When we were an hour from arriving I felt something strange and made Hammer pull off at a fast food restaurant. Sure enough, bright red blood on the panty liner. It was a fair amount but did not soak a pad. I ended up doing our nightly PIO in the restaurant bathroom. First time I'd given a PIO solo. Let me tell you fear is a great motivator. I didn't even hesitate to stick that crazy long needle in my hip. I did 1cc rather than 0.5cc because it was the second episode of bright red bleeding. Once we arrived at my in-laws I went straight to bed. When I woke up the bleeding had tapered off so I showered to get ready for our day. Then I put in the first suppository and 15 min later...bleeding. Since then it has been constant when I wipe but not really anything to soak a pad. It's more red/brown than anything.

What really scared me is that as the day wore on my ride side (hip, butt, front of abdomen) was beginning to hurt more and more. We ended up leaving early to head back home. After brainstorming what could be causing it and ruling out ectopic we decided it was probably from the PIO I gave in that side. I wasn't having any cramping on the left side of my body and it seemed to stem from the back side. I sat on a heating pad on low and rotated every 30 minutes. This morning I feel much better in that spot.

I have also been very thirsty and am drinking 3-4 24oz bottles of water a day. Regardless today I woke up really dehydrated and very sick to my stomach. I also made the mistake of taking our last HPT with my very dehydrated sample. I freaked out that the control line wasn't as light as it was two days ago. I know that things can happen and this bleeding is not helping but I'm not having any cramping and there are very good reasons for the spotting. I hope that my freakout was unnecessary and you can be assured we do not have anymore FRER left in the house.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Giant Sigh of Relief

Emergency peace of mind beta #3 came back = 748

Hopefully we'll get this spotting under control but for right now I think we might have a sticky bean. Grow bean, grow!

It's Back

The spotting, it came back last night around 9 pm.

After Tuesday's scare, the bleeding was so bad that I could not keep the Endometrin in so we decided to give 0.5cc of PIO just to get something in my body. And then as a precaution for the next day (Wednesday), Hammer gave me another. The spotting was completely gone that day. On Thursday morning I talked with the RN and she said that since the bleeding stopped and the suppositories were staying in that I could stop the PIO and continue with the Endometrin, which I did. And then later that night I spotted pinky brown mixed in with that Endometrin ooze which is exactly how the bright red bleeding started. We were at our couples bible study when I discovered it while going to the bathroom. There was no warning. We immediately left for home so that Hammer could give me another shot to hopefully prevent full bleeding. I went to bed totally stressed out and hardly slept at all. When I woke up the spotting was gone and there was nothing but old blood. So we made the decision based upon our gut feeling that the suppositories alone were just not working for us.

This morning when I called the clinic to tell them what happened, they said that it was fine to do the PIO but they wanted me to do 2cc a day. Crazy. I've only ever heard of one other person doing that much. Honestly if 3 Endometrin/d + 0.55cc of PIO are working, we might just keep it up because we know it's working now. Clearly we just can't do suppositories alone. Now we could be wrong about the PIO and still spot, we totally are aware of this but I think this will at least bring some peace of mind to have two sources of progesterone going. I already had my Endometrin refill delivered so I'll have more than enough on hand. Oh and we also requested a 3rd beta just to see if everything is still going OK in there. I think we should be fine because I took a FRER again this morning and there was so much dye on the test line that there was barely a control but peace of mind is priceless right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beta #2

Today started out much better as I woke up to no bleeding and just a few smudges of brown from yesterday's event. But to be safe I took today off just to ensure that a) I had my blood drawn around the same time as before and B) if I started bleeding again I would be at home. I went in today around 10:30 AM to get my blood drawn and got called back right away. What I didn't expect was for the phlebotomist to tell me that the diagnosis code was wrong on the order. I asked if she wanted me to call but she said she would do it but after they failed to put Monday's order in as STAT I was a big concerned. After I left I called my clinic to tell them to expect a call or to just call them directly to ensure that everything was fine. I then sat on pins and needles for the next 2 1/2 hours. When I had not heard from them yet at 2:30 I called the lab to see if it had been sent and they confirmed that it had. Ugh! Then just call already. My brother texted to reassure me that at his practice he always likes calling with the good news at the end of the day and so he was praying that they operated the same way.

Finally the phone rang.

ME: "Hello, this is Mrs. Hammer"

RN: "Hi this is C, how are you doing today?" [in a super chipper voice]

ME: "Nervous"

RN: "Well you have no reason to be nervous"

ME: "I don't?"

RN: "Nope, because your numbers are awesome. They more than doubled. Your beta came back at 296" *

ME: "You're kidding me? Oh my gosh I can't believe it" [through sobs of joy]

I also learned that my TSH (0.94) and T4 (1.6) came back at really good levels as well. We are done with betas and will await our first ultrasound on the afternoon of September 7. Hammer and I know there are still many hurdles to go but hope that this is finally the long anticipated and fervently prayed for miracle.

Thank you for all of your prayers and stories of hope from past experiences, they were all so encouraging to me. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we wait for the results of the ultrasound in 2 weeks.


The only other time I did the babymed graph it was for our abysmal hcg levels with our blighted ovum (which were two whole days behind what we are now) so I wanted to see where we are now. Holy Pete, we're normal. The thing actually says the words "normal." Please Lord, watch over our little one as he continues to grow!

*I bolded it for those of you who scroll down to get the results before reading the whole post...I do it too :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spotting Scare Update

I think the PIO did the trick. The bleeding started to turn to 'old blood' around 3pm and is now almost completely gone. Our prayer is that the little one is a fighter and hung on. My only concern is that my symptoms have disappeared again but could that be because I was scared out of my mind? We shall see tomorrow.

This is not happening again *updated*

I woke up this morning to bright red blood. Not a little, a lot. But as of right now I am not cramping. Hammer encouraged me to take the last HPT to see if my levels dropped but the test line is now nearly as dark as the control. We're praying this is a good sign. I put a call in to my clinic and I'm going to request to switch to PIO if the HCG is still rising. Please pray for our little one!

The bleeding has continued without any cramping. It's less than a period but bright red. The clinic couldn't really tell me anything (as I expected) other than we would have to wait till tomorrow to see if the levels increased or decreased. They still wanted me to take the endometrin even though I kept asking if I could absorb it with all the bleeding. I really didn't get a good answer. My mom offered to come over to hang out with me today. She's a retired nurse and we both decided to just crack open the last PIO I had on hand and give myself a bolus of 0.5cc. We figured it couldn't hurt and would only help. Afterward we spent sometime praying for the little one.

Monday, August 22, 2011


So let me catch you all up:

  • 11dp3dt, Thursday August 18 - I had to go on a business trip to the middle of no where and left the day before which I was not happy about. Especially considering that 12dp3dt was when I suddenly started bleeding with our last IVF cycle. So imagine my distress when the day begins with major cramping and all my symptoms disappear (except for vein-y bbs and my crazy sense of smell.) Later that night I went to the bathroom discovered a streak of brown on the TP when I wiped. For most women they would think maybe it was implantation but because this was the day before our bleeding from last time I went into freak out mode which was enhanced by my being alone in the middle of podunk-ville USA. I could not get a hold of Hammer who was out with his friends but did get a hold of my mom who talked me down from the ceiling. Shortly after I was able to sk.ype with Hammer and just seeing his face and my sweet puppy helped tremendously.
  • 12dp3dt, Friday August 19 - This was my last day out of town. The symptoms were still gone (minus my vein-y bbs) but the cramping and spotting were gone too. Somehow I survived and drove as fast as I dared to get myself back home.
  • 13dp3dt, Saturday August 20 - Hammer and I decided to test this morning. We just couldn't stand it anymore. I took an internet cheapy (no I still have not learned) out and did the deed in a cup. The control line came up but there was no sign of a positive. I sighed and said, "As I expected," but then decided to just use the last FRER up because why not and the internet ones suck. So I dipped and while putting the cap on to my shock a positive line came up right away. I cocked my head and said, "Not what I expected." I crawled into bed and told Hammer that we had a faint line. Really it wasn't faint, it was pretty visible but was it hcg going up or coming down? Then later that day the brown spot on the TP was back. Crap. Hammer and I went out shortly after to pick up more HPT, you know, just in case.
  • 14dp3dt Sunday August 21- I woke up at 4 am and 'held it' as long as I could stand until about 4 am. Then I took another FRER. The line wasn't coming up as fast, just as I expected, a chemical pregnancy. I crawled back into bed and woke Hammer up to tell him but he wanted to see for himself so he got up and took a look at the test. He came out looking quizzical, "It looks the same to me." "Well same isn't better" I told him but looked at it again. Holy Pete it might actually be a bit darker. We spent about 10 minutes comparing lines from yesterday and walked away convinced it was darker.
  • 15dp3dt Monday August 22 (beta day) - I woke up around 4 am again after a night of vivid dreams about all sorts of silly things. I talked my self back to sleep but not before noticing that those darn suppositories were making a mess again. When I couldn't stand it any longer I got up about the same time as yesterday (6 am) and got out my supplies. But to my horror I saw that my pad was soaked with a mixture of suppository gunk and brown discharge and there was a lot. I freaked out a bit which woke up Hammer, cleaned myself up and then took the test. I told Hammer it was still coming up positive but I just crawled back into bed as this was a bit too deja vu for me from our last cycle. Hammer got up to get ready for work. (I had decided to take the day off) He came out of the bathroom and said, "You know this is darker, like significantly darker." I had to look at it myself but yes it was definitely significantly darker. But I was having cramps and the brown discharge continued, actually got worse when I put in that darn suppository.
  • Around 8:00 am called my clinic to tell them what was happening knowing that they don't open until 8:30 am. I told them I would wait to get the blood drawn in case they wanted to add in an order for progesterone. When it was nearly 10 am, I could not stand it anymore and just drove to the lab. I had decided to try a new one that was attached to a local hospital that promised stat labs. Just after I had checked in at the lab the clinic called. She reassured me that as long as it was brown it was ok and that lots of women start to get irritated by the suppositories about now. So they were not going to check my progesterone but did state that if my value came back at at least 100 they might drop me down to 2 times per day instead of 3. I was called back shortly after I hung up and made sure to tell the staff several times that the beta was stat and the TSH and t4 were not. The phlebotomist said it was no problem but if I hadn't heard by 2pm to call the lab. Well 3pm rolled around and my clinic had not called so I rang the lab and found out that they hadn't run my beta yet because it wasn't put in as stat. AH! Seriously! After being firm with them they said they would run it right away. About an hour later my clinic called.
  • Beta #1 = 96 - The RN reassured me that I made their cut off of 100 because more than likely by the end of today I am 100. But man, by the skin of my teeth. Just to be safe they are keeping me on the Endometrin 3x/d until my repeat on Wednesday. It is hard to be super excited having gone through a blighted ovum and a missed miscarriage but I guess the first hurdle is just getting pregnant, yet we have many more to come in the next few weeks. Please be praying for it to double by this Wednesday. I am still having spotting but it is staying brown and it does seem to be connected to the suppositories. We did compare this to our blighted ovum cycle and today at 15dp3dt (18dp0) I am 96 compared to 17dp3dt (20 dpo) I was at 107. So hopefully that is a good sign.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

mini update

Today is 10dp3dt and my beta is not until 15dp3dt. This is because we are traditionally late implant-ers and to prevent what happened last time our new RE is making us hold out. Hammer and I are not doing a home test for that same reason but will be testing the morning of beta.

I've had to take a forced break from the internet to A) protect my sanity and B) to study for my exams. I was not mentally ready to take my tests post transfer so I had to impose an internet hiatus in order to pass (which I did!). But the next day I was consulting Dr. Google and having a meltdown. So I am imposing the hiatus again. So other than a quick update today I probably won't be posting again until beta day. I think they said I should get my results by 4pm.

I'm getting my butt kicked in the symptom department by these suppositories and have every symptom in the book: extreme fatigue, emotional (weepy), extremely sore boobs, cramps (not sharp ones like the last IVFs), hunger, headaches, constipation....really you should just go look up the drug information and it will give you the full list. It's been fun. I'm doing my best to keep up a positive attitude and the Circle and Bloom has helped if I can stay awake to do them. I honestly can't tell. At one point I let myself talk to Dr. Google on 9dp3dt and what pops up? My last IVF post. I Googled myself. So basically I have no idea how this will end.

I was shook up today though when one of my good IRL friends who had her transfer two weeks before me learned that her pregnancy did not progress past 6 weeks. She just learned today that she had a blighted ovum. It is all too deja vu as our first pregnancy was a blighted ovum. The worst part is that I'm away on business so Hammer is no where near me so give me hugs and let me cry for them and for the fears that it brings up for us. Four more days till beta....

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 3 Transfer

Today we drove down to our clinic for our transfer. The RE on call this weekend was the newest to the practice. He seemed very nervous but we learned later that he's had to overcome patients just being upset that they didn't get their doctor and it's not about his ability. Because he seemed nervous I was praying that the transfer would go well. Honestly it was the best transfer I've had to date.

Let me back up. They take things very seriously at this clinic in comparison to our old one. I now liken our old clinic to doing ART in a third world country. The new clinic made us both suit up into clean sterile medical garb. They took us back into the large procedure room that is set up similar to a surgical room. They have big vents that clean the air through two hospital grade air filters. (Old clinic did both the retrieval and transfer in their regular exam rooms and everyone was in street cloths and the vents probably haven't been cleaned since the 80's when it opened)

They got us set up in the room and then we waited a few minutes while the RE finished up with another couple. He came in to discuss the report of our embryos. Then they set us up for the ultrasound guided transfer. The RE did a test transfer which was usual but looking back I'm glad because it just ensured that the actual transfer would go perfectly. I didn't know he was done with the mock transfer until it was over. And the actual transfer was no different. They actually recorded the transfer so that they could replay it for Hammer and I a few times. We transferred three embryos listed in order of quality on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 = best): 1 8 cell -compacting, 1 8-cell grade 1, and 1 6-cell grade 3. The remaining four are under 6 cells and grades 3 and 4 which will likely not make it to freezing stage and hence why we got our call this morning. But it was a very good sign to hear that one was compacting already which means that it was moving into the compacting morula stage.

We rested there for about 20 minutes while I listened to my Circle and Bloom recording and then got changed and back on the road. We drove straight to our acupuncturist so she could do the post transfer treatment (pre-transfer treatment was late last night). Then we returned home and I've been resting ever since. I took off tomorrow as well just to take it easy.

Part of me is a bit sad that somethings were the same but I think it was more so just from our day 2 report to today's. If they had never said anything about 5dt, then it would have just been status quo for the Hammers. But after some time I do feel at peace. We've done everything now, tried a new protocol etc. So whatever happens we'll be ok. Of course we are praying for the best out come :)

On the road again

We got the call and while we have three good ones the others are lagging behind so they do not want to take a chance and are recommending a three day transfer. I'll post more later.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I'm Living Some One Else's Cycle...and I Like it.

I just got off the phone with the nurse from our clinic. (the nice nurse, not my dumb one) Every embryo, all seven, is still perfect [perfect] and for the first time ever we are being told that they want to do a 5 day transfer. I was so shocked, I kept asking if they were sure. I think the nurse was confused by my response because at one point she very nicely said that she thought I would have known about this having done IVF before. When I responded that I was aware but that we've never had this happen before so I'm shocked and in unfamiliar territory, she was very understanding. She said that there is another couple who does not have the option of a 5 day transfer and she will be getting a call around 6 am regardless with a lab report so she would have the lab call her with news about our embryos as well. Then she will give us a call and we can decide what we want to do.

We really appreciated that because part of me is terrified that if we wait there won't be any embryos to transfer having never had this situation before. I know that there is a 15% increase in success rate with a blastocyst transfer which we probably need to take every percent we can get. I think I will just need that reassurance tomorrow.

Oh and I was not able to get some info from my dumb nurse yesterday so I asked nice nurse the details about our retrieval. Apparently.....ALL 11 WERE MATURE! Holy crap! And I guess they all fertilized but only 7 fertilized normally which is still ridiculous. A 100% fert rate?!?! I can hardly wrap my mind around this. I'm either having an out of body experience or I'm dreaming. Please don't wake me up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fert Report

The retrieval went very well. We stayed overnight at my family's home to ensure that we would make our 7:15 am appointment time without a hitch. They took me back right away and I changed into my gown. It was such a different experience from our old clinic. Rather than doing the procedure in the same general exam room they had a full scale procedure room with high tech ventilation. I had my IV placed and then waited about 5 minutes before they took me back for the retrieval. Once I got my feel good drugs the only thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room and being told they got 11 eggs. Say what? Yes, 11 eggs. I've never had double digits before. But we knew that we really only had about 5 that were around the mature size so I didn't get my heart set. Our RE was actually happily surprised with the outcome as well.

Once I was feeling better we made the drive back home where I could sleep off the drugs and awaited our fert report for the next morning. I woke up some where around 1 am last night to use the restroom and felt compelled to pray for our embryos. Apparently our prayers were heard because we learned this morning that 7 fertilized normally. We are happy to hear and continue to pray that this is a good sign. We are set for our transfer on Sunday and will continue to be praying for our little embies.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fast Track

Well our retrieval has been pushed up to Thursday but more so because I have a few lead follicles sitting around 18 (x2) a 16 and 15 (x2) as well as a few 12's and several smaller ones that will likely not be mature in time. So while my E2 was better it seems I stimmed too fast in the first few days to allow for recruitment of more follicles. My lining was at 7.5 after just 6 days of meds so I hope that it will catch up as well. I was hoping that maybe I would have a better showing on this protocol but it seems that I will always get the same amount no matter what so our prayer is that these are healthier. We'll know more in a just a few days time. Trigger is set for tomorrow at 8:30 pm