Tuesday, September 1, 2015

When to test with HPTs?

So here we are on 4dp5dt....

I looked through my HPT stash and have six tests in my possession, so I've been trying to figure out how to dole them out to myself.

Today is only 4dp5dt - that seems too early to test, especially for someone with a limited HPT stash.

I tested positive with Magpie on 6dp5dt, so perhaps I'll try testing then? On the other hand, I know how horrible it is to keep seeing the dreaded white space where a second line is supposed to be. The fear of seeing that makes me want to wait to test.

What do you guys think? When should I start to test?

I know some of you will say to wait until the beta...which would be Sunday...but my silly local clinic doesn't test betas on the weekend. Bah!

So I might not get an official beta until the Tuesday after Labor Day, because of the holiday weekend. I don't know that I can wait that long.

I welcome all wisdom. I'm going a bit batty over here.


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FET #3 4dp5dt

I've survived another day in the long slog of the 2ww. My God, is time creeping forward slowly!
I've been super careful with not rushing around and not lifting anything, including Ms. Magpie. This morning she woke up while Will was in the shower and I went and sat with her in her room, but didn't pick her up despite her pleas and questioning as to why I couldn't pick her up and why the doctors said not to. I don't know if it will make a difference, but the Denver clinic was adamant about no lifting above 10 lbs. and I don't want to have any worries afterward if this doesn't go as I hoped.

I still have no real symptoms that I would call reassuring. I'd love to feel uterine pulling feelings, which I have felt in some prior pregnancies but I've got none to report. I've had intermittent dull cramping. And a couple of sharper twinges. The most pronounced symptom has been pretty noticeable shortness of breath. My stomach is slightly off this morning as well. I'm guessing all of that could be due to the progesterone itself, so it's hard to get too excited about that.

I've been waking up every morning feeling a bit hopeless about this. This morning was no different. It made me feel better though that I remembered I used to feel most hopeless in the early mornings when  in the early stages of pregnancy with Magpie too. So that helped take some of the credibility out of the feeling.

Yesterday, I had no patients scheduled and so went to the medical school library and worked on a paper describing a study I recently completed. I was surprised I was able to focus, and decided to just run with it. Who would ever think that academic writing could provide an escape from the mental torture of the 2ww! It felt good to be productive, and the paper is basically finished after yesterday's work. I want to read through it one more time carefully and then send it out to my co-authors for their final look. If I can get it sent out to the journal I'm aiming for by Friday or Tuesday, it will feel like a really good use of the two week wait!

Thank you for all of your support. It is so hard to believe this could work, but oh, I am really hoping it could.

More soon.


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Monday, August 31, 2015

FET #3: 3dp5dt

Hanging in there in the early early days of the two week wait. If I had to call odds for this cycle, I'm mostly thinking that it's going to be a no go, sometimes 100% convinced that it's already over. Is this on anything rational? Not really, so please disregard my pessimism.

The fact that I know deep in my heart that Magpie's existence is such a miracle means that I feel that winning the lottery again seems to very unlikely. Add to that that the blasts didn't look as nice to me as they did at Magpie's transfer, and well...hard to feel hopeful here. Perhaps it's even greedy to wish for a second miracle. Although I realize it doesn't deprive anyone else of their turn, sometimes it feels selfish somehow to want for more when I already have so much with the presence of Ms. Magpie.

Fortunately, the outcome doesn't rely at all on how I feel about it!

It's surprising to me that this time I'm having a harder time staying in the "in between" and not knowing place of the 2 week wait. I would have thought that the stakes are so much lower now that we have Magpie, and in a sense, they are. I've got my miracle girl, and an additional child would just be amazing and bonus and more than I ever expected or dared to dream. It would be wonderful for us to have a second child and also a gift to her. She loves people, and she would adore having a sister or brother. I'd love for her to have an ally in life.

Upping the ante, however, is the fact that I turn 44 in a few months and that these are our final three blasts. This has raised the stakes for this cycle more than I ever expected it would. It feels so final. Either this will work and Magpie will have a sibling, or it won't and she'll be an only. There's always the chance that we could pursue a donor sibling, but I don't know that Will would be open to it still and we are well aware of the costs and potential pitfalls having walked down the donor egg path before.

In previous 2 week waits, I have found some pleasure in having some time to imagine the possibility of pregnancy without knowing yes or no. At least so far, I am not enjoying the not knowing. There's no pleasant imagining. It's the old familiar grind of all the meds and dietary restrictions, plus the challenging restriction of not being able to pick up Magpie (no lifting anything over 10 lbs.). And whenever I dare to hope, I tend to tell myself that I must be kidding. Have I seen my history? Crazy girl - this won't work of you! I have to remember though that my history includes Magpie. So it could work. Because in fact, once, in all of our attempts it did, and gloriously.

Still no symptoms really, other than fatigue, some mild shortness of breath, and yesterday some mild uterine cramping. I'm so aware this time that anything I'm feeling could so easily be the progesterone sending screwy signals to my body, that I don't trust anything.

That said, if any of the three blasts are still alive, implantation could occur any time now.

Wow. Oh my gosh. Any time now. For a moment maybe I can hold on to that wonderful possibility. Perhaps there is still life inside of me.

The hope is like a flicker, tenuous and hard to hold on to.


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Saturday, August 29, 2015

1 day post 5d transfer for FET #3: bed rest ongoing

Today is one day post five day transfer (or 1dp5dt). I've been in bed for a day and a half now, and am feeling basically nothing, which is what I would expect. Emotionally I'm a bit all over the place, ranging from hopeful to hopeless to back to hopeful again. Sometimes I'm completely sure that nothing has survived already. Sometimes I'm able to have hope that we could have a positive outcome from this.

I'm also having lots of neurotic thoughts that I'm working hard to quell. Among them:
  • I've sneezed twice and worried it hurt the embryos (seriously? Mo, get a grip!). 
  • I can't remember anyone saying if my lining was triple stripe prior to transfer. What if it wasn't? I know it was 10 mm a week ahead of transfer, but what if it wasn't optimal?
  •  I've had to actively choose not to panic that my estrogen is 2,000 - isn't that too high? Could it hurt implantation potential? I'm on vaginal estrace this time and wondering if the dose is too high or if maybe the levels from the vaginal inserts come back differently from the levels with the vivelle patches. I have a call in about this but won't hear back until Monday.
So I'm trying to be sane over here, with only some success. Normally at home I'm so busy I don't have time to be neurotic. but on bed rest, I have unfortunately lots of time to think too much.

So strange to know this visit was almost certainly our last one to the Denver clinic. Weird to not have more future visits hanging out there after all his time. We brought flowers for our longtime nurse who has overseen all of my cycles and saw our favorite genetics counselor before and after the retrieval. I love the folks at the Denver clinic and especially those two. Both of these wonderful women have really made this years-long journey more manageable and doable on every level. I have fully felt like they are rooting for us. So wonderful to have some people in our corner who've taken such a personal stake in our outcomes.

We are really missing Magpie and have been doing Tango with her (like skype) every night. It is great how verbal she is now and can tell us about what she's done that day. She also always wants to know if we've eaten dinner when we talk - very cute. It seems like she's doing well without us, but we are missing her! At the same time it is nice to just be able to focus on resting and not feel pulled in the multiple directions I usually do.

In terms of symptoms. Not much going on here.

Boobs are not sore. Uterus is "full" feeling. thought I felt a bit of left sided pinching yesterday but who knows what that was.

Implantation wouldn't have occurred yet. I think it is usually 7 to 10 days post ovulation, so in this case, 2-5 days post transfer. Yikes! So scary that we'll know soon one way or the other. Hoping we can eek a pregnancy out of this.

Fingers crossed!


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Friday, August 28, 2015

Transfer complete - with pics!

All went well with the transfer.

My blood results came back well too with progesterone at 24 and estrogen at 2,000 (oh my!)

All three blastocysts survived the thaw 100%. And according to the embryologist, they were all expanded and beginning to hatch!

Here's a pic. We had the embryologist tell us which was which, so I labeled it for you to see.

For comparison, here is the pic from Magpie's transfer. In that case, two survived the thaw 100% and the third 98%, and two of the three had fully expanded. Today's blasts look in much worse shape to me, but then again, I'm no embyologist. Maybe ugly blasts can sometimes go the distance?

And here is the pic from the FET before that, that resulted in a loss at 7 weeks... In that case, All three blasts survived the thaw, with 100% cell survival for two of them and 98% cell survival for the third. One of the three completely re-expanded, and the other two moderately and minimally 

Nothing to do now but wait (and overanalyze...I mean...rest).


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