Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sundays of grace #15

1. Despite everything, Will and I are in a good space together, which sometimes I think is amazing. We have worked hard to make sure the stress of all that we are going through does not harm our relationship. Through lots of hard work and attention, we are remaining firmly connected to each other even through this latest sorrow. I am so very grateful for this.

2. I wouldn't choose it, and I wouldn't wish it on anybody, but since it is happening anyway, I am grateful that we lost this pregnancy so early, rather than getting farther along, more hopeful, and more invested emotionally. Physically and emotionally it is easier - not easy, but easier - to miscarry at this early stage rather than weeks from now.

3. Although we lost this pregnancy and we are grieving deeply, I am grateful that we were able to experience being pregnant, even for a few days. Because the last three cycles have resulted in negatives, I had begun to wonder if we would ever be pregnant again. Of course, the goal isn't to just be pregnant, it's to stay pregnant and have a child, but even our few days of pregnancy gave us some hope that maybe we're getting even a tiny bit closer to our goal of having a family.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The fat lady sings

Our RE called Mo this afternoon to confirm that the beta HCG levels are continuing to drop. Another miscarriage is imminent. The RE says that we should presume that the loss is due to chromosomal defects.

Over the phone, Mo and I just checked in to see how we felt. "I don't know," we seemed to say in unison. But we do know. It's that terrible, familiar feeling. Loss. A feeling kind of beyond language. We've been sitting together in silence on the phone a lot since Monday. Both working way too much. No words for what we're going through.

We are not sure what's next and not sure we even want to touch on that just yet. We'll give it a few hours, a few days, a few weeks or whatever it takes.

We are planning to wander around the Metropolitan Museum of Art later this afternoon. Maybe the paintings and sculpture will express visually some of the things we're unable to verbally. It will be good to be together, wandering the galleries. It's something we haven't done in a while. Just taking a break and being together will be healing since we've only had about a total of an hour "together time" in the past several days with work and everything else.

An afternoon of art and then dinner, together. We'll figure it out from there.


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Monday, May 25, 2009

New beta result

Just heard from the nurse. "Well, your beta didn't exactly double," she began, "but the doctor wants you to stay on the progesterone and come back on Wednesday."

I think she might have left it at that, but my mind was reeling. Didn't exactly double???? What does that mean??!!

"Can you tell me the number?"

So she did.

It's 13dp3dt and the number, deep sigh, is 36. Talk about not doubling. I'd call it dropping.

Not sure why I'm staying on the progesterone. I'd guess it's in case of a miracle.

I've been having a lot of pain in my lower left side. It has crossed my mind that this might be/have been an ectopic.

Don't know what to say. At the moment, I feel....nothing. Just a little dead inside.


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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sundays of grace #14

1. Not sure how I did it, but the dissertation is turned in to my committee. Good thing, because there is no way I could concentrate on it just now. I am so grateful to be moving forward with this enormous task and also to have it off my plate for the next little while.

2. Very crampy. Slightly nauseated. Loving every minute of it. I am grateful for any sign that there is something continuing to go on in my body.

3. Need I say it? The gratitude that outshadows all others: for today, we are pregnant! Hallelujah! Tomorrow, we get another HCG level, but for now we'll stick with today - we'll be taking this pregnancy one thrilled, anxious day at a time.


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Friday, May 22, 2009

...more news...

So, Will talked to the RE again.

Beta values:
Monday, 7dp3dt: 16 (probably still HCG booster in my system)
Wednesday, 9dp3dt: 23
Today, 11dp3dt: 48

Direct RE quote: "I don't know if you can get any more positive than that."

Progesterone = 77
Estrogen = 1500

Next steps: return to IVF center for bloodwork Monday.

We are cautiously thrilled. We haven't gotten this far in a long time. Fingers crossed. We will enjoy the weekend. As of today, we are pregnant!


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Results are in...

...well, sort of...

Will called me. For some reason, the RE called him instead of me. It is 14 days past retrieval and my beta is 48. Per the message the RE left for Will (um, who is the patient here?!), they have been following it this week (I had blood drawn on Monday and Wedsnesday, so they've been following it at least since Weds.), and it has been rising, so we know it's not just/still the HCG booster.

So...I don't know how to feel; 48 sounds low to me, but I'm not sure if it could still be viable. Don't get me wrong - we are grateful for anything at this point. Have been feeling like my uterus snuffs out all forms of life this past year. Even a chemical pregnancy would be a flicker of hope. But maybe...just maybe...I almost don't dare to hope...I don't want to type it for fear of jinxing it...could it maybe a lasting pregnancy?

I have a call in to the RE to find out what the beta has been during this week of secret beta testing. (I only knew they were testing my estrogen and progesterone levels, sneaky IVF people!) I am also, of course, dying to know how fast it has been rising and what my RE's take is on an HCG level of 48 at this stage of the game.

In the usual, I turn to you guys. Anybody have a beta this low turn out to be an actual, living child nine or ten months later? Anybody have a beta around this level at all? What happened? It's OK to share both positive and negative outcomes.

Thanks for checking in - some of you multiple times today. It means so, so much to us.

More to come, either later today or tomorrow.

I feel like my heart is going to beat its way out of my chest.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

One more day

One more day until we will know the outcome of this cycle.
We are really excited for tomorrow to come. It's been a strange thing this cycle to not be able to test ahead. On one hand, it has made the process more enjoyable, because we can just entertain the possibility that there is still life inside of me while realizing the impossibility of having an answer yet. On the other hand, not being able to test is sheer torture. Will and I are trying to stay in the moment, but it is very, very difficult. Honestly, whatever the outcome, we are more than ready to know. We remain cautiously hopeful, but really, we have no idea what we will find out tomorrow.
On other fronts, out of sheer necessity, I have managed to complete a final draft of my entire dissertation - all 170 pages of it. As of yesterday, the copies were delivered to my school and turned in to my committee. I will meet with them in a couple of weeks for the next-to-last step to get their feedback. After I make those changes, I will be - finally - headed for the oral defense. I cannot wait to be done. This degree process has been so much more intensive and grueling than I could have ever envisioned. I have learned much, but I really look forward to finishing. It has been years of seemingly never-ending work.
So. Tomorrow. Hopefully it will be here before we know it. And maybe, just maybe, we will have a good outcome. It doesn't seem likely given out track record so far, but we are so wanting a positive outcome. Please, Universe, we've paid our dues!!
We promise to post once we have news. As always, thank you so much for your thoughts, your comments, your support.
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Monday, May 18, 2009

7dp3dt: If I were paying attention to symptoms...

If I were paying attention to my symptoms, I might be noticing that I've been pretty crampy the past few days and a bit nauseated. Perhaps this is from the HCG booster, I have told myself, reminding myself to stay in the moment and not try to predict the outcome...

And then today, walking to get lunch, I was a little short of breath when I was walking quickly. I know I'm out of shape now and everything, but hmmm...I seem to recall higher heartrate/being more easily winded was a major early pregnancy symptom in the past.

Probably nothing. And I'm being all zen anyway and just staying in the moment, right? Riiiigggghhhhtttttt.

OK. Back to the dissertation with me.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sundays of grace #13

1. I am grateful that my family and Will's family (most of the key players at least) are not adding any suffering to the pain we are already in with infertility. I know my mother would dearly love a grandchild, and I suspect some other family members think we are crazy for our determination to have a child, even after repeated obstacles. But no one is passing judgment outwardly. Instead, they are supportive and hopeful for us. We are so appreciative.

2. Weird as it may sound, I am grateful that I cannot test this cycle ahead of the beta. It forces me to remain more in the moment, which is a good thing. I know I wouldn't be able to resist the urge over the next few days if it wasn't for the HCG booster making it pointless - I feel the urge to test as it is and then have to remind myself that I won't find any information out that way. I have to just remember, the buns are in the oven so to speak. Whatever is happening or not is underway. It is very rare for me, but I surrender myself to the process.

3. Knock wood, but I am feeling pretty well this cycle. A little nauseated the past few days, breasts a little sore, but physically ok and mentally pretty good. Particularly during this time of intense dissertation stress, I am so grateful to feel centered and calm. At the moment, I feel that whatever the outcome turns out to be, we will find a way to be ok.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Finding the middle ground

I'm trying something new this two week wait. Usually, I vacillate between thinking I'm pregnant and getting very excited, to thinking I'm not, and feeling low.

The beta is next Friday and so I have one week left of this two week wait. Instead of being all over the place emotionally, I'm going to try to find a middle path. I'm trying to not predict the outcome either way and instead to just focus on what is now: that I have three embryos inside of me. At this moment in time, and for the coming week, I have the possibility that I might be pregnant. I'm not going to assume that I am and start planning estimated due dates or how it would work with my grant, etc., or get all wrapped up in worries that I'm not and start thinking about next steps and how that would feel and how I would regroup (at least I'm going to try to avoid these things).

For this moment, at least, I am tuning in to what is true right now. I am honoring the possibility. What is true right now is that maybe there is life inside me. Just maybe. Makes me smile a little to think of it.


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