Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bedrest sanity strategies after a 7th transfer

It is 2dp5dt today and I am ending my bedrest this morning. We've been taking it easy around the hotel this morning, having a nice breakfast, and me taking a luxurious shower. Soon we will be off to do a little light shopping before heading back to NYC tomorrow morning. Nothing too strenuous. Will and I are not big shoppers, but we enjoy shopping in Denver because it is so quiet in the stores - not the mob scene that trying to buy anything in NYC always is.

So far, I haven't felt any sensations that I would find very reassuring. Yes, I realize it's early, but checking back to the last FET, I had definitely felt some uterine twinges by now. I thought I felt some faint ovulation-like pinching yesterday, but it was brief, and oh-so-faint, and not really in my uterus anyway. I lay in bed much of yesterday convinced that the cycle was a failure, then trying to tell myself not to give up yet, and that none of this is in my control anyway. With that repeated self-talk, I was able to move into a more neutral place, a who-knows-what-is-going-on-inside-me-right-now place.

It is just so, so hard to imagine that this could work, if I let myself think about it. And on bedrest it is hard to NOT think about it. Yesterday, I found myself needing to know that we have other plans lined up, that we are moving forward, that a baby one way or another is going to be coming our way.

So I ended up calling the donor agencies we've been working with to get a few women preliminarily tested. We've got three in the works, as crazy as that might seem. All three are seemingly good candidates. We've been going through the process of testing two of them since December. One of them stopped the pill late in December and we are still waiting for her to get her first period afterward so we can get her Day 3 bloods done. Gah. Another one has good Day 3s, AFC, and AMH, but is half Jewish, necessitating a bunch o' extra genetic testing, which we've been trying to line up. There's a third we've been interested in from way back when (our runner up to that first donor we loved so much who turned out to have the inversion on chromosome 9) and so I called her agency and they are contacting her to see if we can move forward with testing her. I'm just hoping one of these folks turns out to look like she is able to pass the Denver screening process.

In the event that this transfer fails, I would really like to be able to move forward in a fairly timely manner. Really and truly.

It felt a bit crazy to be lying here in my hotel bed hoping that at least one of the blastocysts was sticking while also phoning around to try to get our other ducks in a row for an egg donor. Weird to both hold hope that maybe we will get (and stay) pregnant from this transfer, while also feeling like that seems so unlikely, such a fantastical possibility.

At first I tried to talk myself out of double-tasking. Told myself to just wait and see what happens. It's only 9 days between this transfer and the beta. But then I decided that no, it's ok. We've been through enough that I don't have to wait and pin all of my hopes on something that may not work. I can have a big enough heart and mind to do both - to hope for these embryos and to keep moving toward another plan if we need it, another pathway to begin our family.

So strange as it may sound, I think my bizarre split-brain approach helped. I hate this feeling of limbo that the two week wait produces, such a sense of vulnerability, such a set up to enormous disappointment and sadness. It is also a time of hope and possibility - something we haven't had in a while.

I'm going to try to hold both of these realities. And I'm going to keep one foot in the potential of new life forming inside me and the other foot in the hard reality that we may need to find another pathway. I think I can hold both without one hurting the other.

I will keep you posted on any symptoms as they develop. As rational as I'm trying to be, it would be great to feel something is going on inside my body.

Question for you folks: those who have gotten pregnant, did you feel something in your uterus during the two week wait? At what point was it? And what did you feel?

More to come.


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  1. Ah, Mo. Been there. While I didn't have a back-up plan during my donor egg cycle (other than FET), generally I was about 3 plans out even during my most optimistic phases. Makes total sense to me to have the split-brained approach you're taking. You WILL have a baby, one way or the other and hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Bedrest is crazy making, to be sure. As for the symptoms question, I swear I felt implantation a day after my blast transfer, and then again a day later. Both quite localized twinges/pinching in the upper left quadrant of my uterus. And, yes, that's where both embryos actually implanted. (My RE probably thought I was a freak when I told her I could feel them in there at around 5 weeks! but I *knew* where they were before she told me). That said, I never had that experience with my other pregnancies, so perhaps it was just the bedrest talking...

  2. I couldn't feel a single thing during the two week wait. (In fact, I didn't feel anything until six weeks.) I was sure I wasn't pregnant, but I was pregnant with twins. I hope you are too!

  3. I didn't feel any twinges or anything with the successful IVF although I do remember wanting to pee a lot... :)

    Then again, it was summer here and of course I drink more water then.

    This whole thing messes with one's rational brain so much! Hang in there!

  4. Hi Mo, I totally hear you on the split brain thing. I am planning to use my 2WW to really start the process on the donor egg thing. I know how long the lead times are, and I want to get going so we have a plan in place in case this fails. I have never been pregnant, so I can't answer your question directly, but I will say that during nearly every natural, IUI, and IVF cycle I have most always had some kind of uterine cramping right around implantation time and have NEVER gotten pregnant. Perhaps this can be attributed to the embryo starting to, or trying to, implant and failing, but then again maybe not. I've also had a whole host of other pregnancy like symptoms, including on unmedicated cycles where I had no hormones to blame for them. This has lead me to conclude that I just have no idea what is going on in my body! Having said that, will I be symptom watching like hell on my FET? YES! So I look forward with interest to seeing the responses you get to this post. I am praying so hard that this works for you, Mo.

  5. Both times I got pregnant, I had what I can best describe as 'ghost-like' period pains, i.e. not actual menstrual cramps but similar, lighter pains... echoes of period pains as it were.

    These happened at 8 days post fertilisation (or the equivalent to the eighth day in the FET). Lasted for maybe a day and a half and then disappeared. I never felt them during the unsuccessful 2WWs, for what it's worth... On the other hand, this really does seem to be one of those things where every woman is different.

    I can empathise with you about being ready to move forward. That was always how I felt too... I always wanted to go straight into the next attempt, so that either way, we were that much closer to having the baby. I think it's a perfectly healthy thing to do, and it's good for you to feel motivated!

  6. Will you *actually* wait until Beta? And it's *11* days after a 5day transfer?

    Technically, a pregnancy should be appearing in about 3 more days on the pee sticks, no?

    I can totally see the point of waiting til the beta, but I never did. I wanted to have some sense of what the doctor was going to say when he called! Pee sticks can give false hope, I understand, where betas are better indicators, but still! the wait!! Especially if you are dual-tracking why not POAS, so that if it didn't stick you will know sooner and redouble your efforts for the back-up plan...

  7. P.S. Didn't mean to be Anonymous. This is Mishy; I've posted before... :) 3-time miscarrier (including w/DE), now working on a donor + surrogate arrangement. (Been trying for as long as you!)

  8. Didn't feel a thing with any of the 3 pregnancies (1 IUI and 2 3-day IVF transfers). And totally get the split brain -- I spent a lot of our two IVF cycles researching adoption and even going so far as to fill out one application. You have to do what you can to stay sane.

  9. During my first IVF (I have done two fresh and one FET), I felt nothing, only the usual cramps I had before my period. I chalked the IVF up to a failure two days before my beta test. So I was very surprised when I had a positive pregnancy test. Shocked really. I miscarried a month later but I was so convinced I knew my body. My friends try to console me but I had my mind made up. Pleased you are making additional plans, I have done it as well and it really helped me deal with the process.

  10. Hi Mo,

    Long time reader, first time poster here. First, I wanted to say that although I have never posted anything before, I have been sending hopeful thoughts your way for many, many months. I have felt a sort of kinship with you - I'm a psychologist, too, and I had a long journey TTC. 13 IVF attempts - and lucky number 13 is now a marvelous 19-month-old asleep in the next room. Like you, I am very detail-oriented and scientifically-minded, and I kept a log of all of my 2WW symptoms. I was pregnant twice (one ended in a missed MC at 10 weeks). I just reviewed my log, and there were absolutely no differences between the pregnancy and no-pregnancy 2WWs. I listed twinges, cramping, headaches, sore breasts, etc. for both.

    I know it's impossible to not stress and worry during the 2WW - particularly with all you've been through - but hopefully my experiences might help you feel a little less obsessive about the symptoms or lack thereof.

    Hang in there!

  11. I wish you the best of luck during this transfer! I have done 4 IVF/ICSI cycles, with two resulting in pregnancies. During the tww the only cycle I felt any different was the first successful one and the only symptom I had back then, was being tired for just one day. That day was 10 dpo. During that day I ended up taking a 4 hours nap (which I NEVER do). Other than that, didn't feel anything at any other point with any of the transfers.

    I hope this is it for you! Do you plan on POAS???

  12. I had some symptoms, but I think they are the same whether you are pregnant or not. I got some menstrual cramps when it worked. I was also sure I felt the implantation but I think that might have been bedrest overanalysing of gas in my intestinals.

    I had on and off menstrual cramps through out the whole first trimester, and then again in the last trimester. Had a healthy baby.

  13. hey there--just went back & checked, and yes, I'm a big-time cramper, but it doesn't really get going for me until 6-7 days post transfer. Of course, my transfers were 3-days, so that mucks up the comparison a bit, but still, you're early to be feeling anything yet, so I CERTAINLY wouldn't be despondent that you AREN'T feeling crampy.

    And having a back-up plan or three is just plain smart. You can still hope with all your heart that this one works, while putting your busy brain at ease coming up with a plan in case it doesn't. I had back up plans every single time, and it's all that kept me sane. People who can go through ANY of this shit thinking that 'this is it! if this doesn't work, it's OVER' have way more courage than I do.

    Hang tough, sweetie. Hoping hoping hoping no Plan B is needed. Ever. But also knowing that if it is, you'll be prepared for it--which means ONE of the plans will work.

  14. mo,
    i would think that with the changes and additions you made for the prep for this FET, a change in "symptoms" would be appropriate.

    i think it is GREAT timing to be planning possible next scenarios with DE, etc. you CANNOT jinx or ruin or bad-juju or anything by doing so, in fact, all you are doing is bringing yourself closer to your eventual baby, whether that baby is inside you right now or some months in your future with DE... this is a loving thing for you to be doing so, don't worry about it! you are ready- and that means lighting fires where ever they need to be lit!

    i've been pregnant 5 times and have one living child (2 m/c, 2 s/b) and i can safely say that each one was different, and no great symptoms to write home about... feeling, lack of feeling, tugs, pulls, cramps, no cramps, calm, rocky, sick, no sick, etc etc... i've had it all, and none of it made any pattern or sense to me.

    i hope right now there is a majesty of cells splitting and blueprints of genetic beauty unfolding in your uterus. is that too forward?! you know what i mean... hoping for the best for you and will.

    safe trip back! please update as you feel comfortable with doing- so many people are hoping for you now!

  15. I have been pregnant 3 times- once on our own, once after a fresh IVF cycle with my eggs, and once after a fresh DE IVF cycle. Haven't felt a thing in the 2ww, ever.

    Backup plans make total sense to me, too- the hardest part for me has often been the part where we have nothing in the works and no idea what the next step will be. This sounds wise. And, of course, I hope it turns out to be totally unnecessary.

  16. Both my pregnancies were eerily similar. I had sore boobs (which since getting vitamin D replete, I constantly have, which I attribute to increased progesterone) and I also had TONS of CM. I had menstruation-like cramps that began at 8 DPO, went on throughout the day, and beyond, intermittently. My HPT sticks turned from negative to positive around afternoon of day 10 post ovulation, in both pregnancies. I remain convinced that implantation started around day 8.

    There is a crazy website called two week wait or something, where they can give you graphs of how many women felt which symptom on which day. Nonetheless, everybody has a different story to tell here, each pregnancy is truly like a snowflake, though thankfully, the majority of them are much longer lived. You'll get there, I hope you can believe.

    I'm glad you have a backup plan, its what I would do in your position, its very sensible.

  17. OK, getting a hodge-podge of different symptoms is probably just going to give you something to obsess about, but I'm game ... especially as my own experience is of precisely that same hodge podge.

    With my first IVF transfer (fresh cycle with DE, resulting in #1 Son), I had no symptoms whatsoever and was stunned by the positive test ten days later.

    With my second (3 1/2 years later, FET from the previous batch of embryos, resulting in #2 Son), I didn't feel anything uterine, other than what felt like menstrual-like cramping during the entire 36-hr. period after the transfer. However, I DID feel this weird momentary sensation, 3 1/2 days after transfer, like milk letting down. It was gone as quickly as it came and didn't reoccur, but I was convinced that I was pregnant and got a faint positive test just 2 1/2 days afterward.

    Hope the waiting isn't too awful. Personally, I think it's great you have something to occupy your mind and give you a sense of forward momentum during the wait. The only thing that got me through my second two-week wait was--since it was my very last chance at another baby--making a very long list of resolutions regarding having a one-child family and being done with babymaking (places we'd travel, plans for getting in shape, etc.).

  18. The split brain approach seems like quite a sound one! And I know at this point in our journey it doesn't feel right NOT to. We have even discussed trying two surrogates at once this time around just to hedge our bets but um, there's that's money thing....

    I don't know why you're bedrest caught me off guard. I was thinking the transfer was further out. But I'm glad to hear you're taking it easy, enjoying where you are and hoping for the best, with a plan B in the works.

    wishing you well!

  19. I did eight unsuccessful IUIs, one unsuccessful IVF, and then finally got pregnant on an IUI that was the result of a canceled IVF round (canceled due to too few follicles).

    On all of the unsuccessful cycles, I felt every single thing going on in my uterus. Twinges, twangs, cramps, you name it.

    On the cycle when I actually conceived (I'm currently 23 weeks), I was so hopeless that I barely paid attention. I don't think I felt anything until a few days after my BFP, when I experienced a little mild cramping.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you and wishing you all the best.

  20. I'm a total plan-B'er, myself. Here's hoping all your prospective donors test fabulously and yet that their availability becomes just random footnote in the story of your pregnancy and new baby.

  21. For sure make a plan B. It leaves you feeling a little more in control, and that can only be good for your stress level.
    I don't remember feeling anything in my 2ww when I got pg. Looking back at my blog, I said I might possibly have felt a couple faint cramps at 3dp5dt, then maybe slightly tender boobs. But nothing I could hang my hat on.
    Don't fret about lack of symptoms. I don't think it means anything at all.
    Hope you can stay sane and that a BFP awaits you very soon.

  22. I have done 3 cycles (2 fresh IVF, one FET) and two of them resulted in pregnancies. The first fresh cycle was a total failure. The next was a FET cycle which resulted in an empty sac (D&C). The third was a fresh cycle resulting in my son. For all three cycles, I had sore breasts (progesterone-induced, most likely). For the two resulting in pregnancies, I had implantation spotting 5dp5dt. I was stunned that I had it on the exact same cycle day both times. In the future (when we try for a sibling), this will be the thing I watch for early on. Interestingly enough, I had much more spotting with the successful pregnancy than with the empty sac.

    I was never tired, never had to use the restroom more, etc. I felt minor cramping for all 3 cycles. The only real sign for me was the spotting.

    I think it's smart of you to be planning out your other options now. Some of us just work better with a plan, or a set of plans, in front of us. I totally get it.

    I am so hopeful for you!!!

  23. Never IVF'ed - or gotten pregnant any other way! - so got no advice on teh twinges! But I think you're being smart by planning your plan B while this is going on. Having a backup now means that you won't have to think about what to do next in the middle of grieving if this one doesn't work out. Of course, we're all hoping you won't need the plan B, but I think you're smart to have it in place. Good luck!!!

  24. The one pregnancy that worked was the one pregnancy where I felt NOTHING in the 2ww - I was SO sure the cycle had failed. I only started to have twinges about a week after the positive test.

  25. Hi mo,
    I am a longtime reader, sometime commenter. I have been following you for a longtime and it always helps me to hear your reasoning and experiences.
    I am sitting here in Denver 2dp5dt of my second fet here (I have a 5yo, have been TTC no2 for 3 years including 2 local fresh IVF and 1 fet resulting in 2 chemicals and a miscarriage. Then did 3 cycles in Denver last year with CCS testing, took some time off for surgeries to reduce cancer risk, and one failed FET in March)
    I was sitting here feeling exactly as you describe- pretty hopeless while rationally knowing it is too early and talking myself back into neutrality.
    It is a great comfort to me to know that this cycle of yours resulted in your beautiful Magpie.
    Thank you again.

    1. Thinking of you. Hoping you hear good news soon!


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