I've decided this is going to be the longest pregnancy ever.
If this were a normally conceived pregnancy, I would have no idea I was pregnant yet. I might start getting suspicious by next week... maybe. But I happen to know the exact moment of conception, and that I am exactly 4 weeks and 6 days pregnant (because they count back to last period.)
I have very few symptoms that would scream "Pregnant!" to the average person. It's sad because I keep waiting for morning sickness to kick in. No, I am hungry and a little more tired than usual. I have also had some weird cramping that I would have called PMS if I didn't know better. Other than that... I don't really feel pregnant. Oh. I also am peeing a lot, but I am drinking more water too.
RIght now, the little guy/s are no bigger than a grain of rice with some basic liver function. The placenta and umbilical cord are also working to get nutrition where it needs to go. Not a whole lot going on right now other than that. No big, just creating life here. :)
I had my blood work and "beta" done today. A beta is a measurement of how much HCG is in the blood, thus determining if there is a pregnancy or not.
It is 13 days past a 5 day transfer. The 5 day transfer part means that the embryos were 5 days old when they were placed in my uterus. In my case, I believe they were actually 6 days old. They were hatching blastocysts. My HCG is at 1654. This is very, very good. In fact, it is so good that we might even be thinking twins.
I have figured out that I am technically 4 weeks and 4 days pregnant as of today. At this point, anything above an HCG of 76 is pregnant. Most people are at least in the hundreds, and a nice strong pregnancy would be around 700 at around the same time. See where twins come in to play? My HCG is so good, it is almost double what I am seeing from most of the websites I have been to.
That said, there is a pretty wide range that could still be a single pregnancy. The fact is that anything from 76 to 1000 or 2000 or higher just means one thing right now: Pregnant.
We Are Pregnant!!!!! OMG I am so excited I almost squealed in the nurses ear when she called me. To have such a strong number is just amazing to me. I was worried it would be borderline, or worse, negative- even though I knew, because I cheated and took a home test, that it wouldn't be negative.
That's right. I cheated. That's why my last post warned you against cheating. The first failed transfer I got all negative tests and I did not believe them. I still hoped and prayed for a positive beta. This time, I got a bright, clear, fast positive at 7 days post IVF, and then spent the rest of the week researching chemical pregnancies and taking the other two tests from the package and watching for any fading of the line. It doesn't matter what the stick says.... I didn't believe it. I didn't want to get my hopes up.
When I got the first positive, I decided not to tell the IPs for that reason. I was so afraid the beta would show that it was chemical. I would hate to get their hopes up to see them dashed again. I waited (patiently. Ha!) for the next week to pass so I could scream it to the world. And scream I have. I am pregnant with at least one strong Chinese baby. It's not my husband's. It's not mine. I'm not keeping it. I am so very excited.
Anyone who has ever wanted to get pregnant, through IVF or otherwise, knows the game I am talking about. So let's play... What are my symptoms?
-Headache- on and off for a week now.
-Fatigue. OMG I need a nap!
-Cramping, which has happened several times a day since transfer (at least)
-Thirst- only water will do
-Food craving- pickles and guacamole as well as red meat. I admit, it is super early for food cravings, so it might be my subconscious leaping at the chance to eat things I love.
-Food aversion- sugary drinks. water only please.
-Nausea- not morning sickness. It hits me at night right before bed. Honestly, this is nice because I just get to lie down and sleep through it.
-Alternating between stuffed and starving. I am starving, so I get some food. I take two bites and am full. Then I am starving again. I have sometimes turned into a bottomless pit, particularly for macaroni and cheese.
-Very vivid dreams. This is a new symptom that just started two nights ago. I wake feeling like I haven't slept at all because I have lived a lifetime in my dream.
-Overheating- I wake up hot and sticky even though it is cold out.
-More potty breaks- but that's probably due to more water
How many of these are actual pregnancy symptoms.... could be none. Every single one of these aside from the unquenchable thirst are linked directly with Progesterone. The suppository progesterone I am on is apparently very good, so those symptoms are not discernable from real symptoms.
Early testing is not a good idea. Sure, you *might* get an accurate result. More likely though you will just stress yourself out wondering if the negative will change to a positive in a few days, like I did last time, or if the positive result is just a chemical pregnancy, and you are getting excited for no reason. It doesn't matter what result you get, you won't believe it. You will test again and again just waiting to see it change for better or worse. Take it from me. I know. Just wait for the blood test unless you enjoy spending money that brings absolutely no relief.
I will update as soon as my IPs have been notified of the blood results. This time feels very different from last time, but again, the progesterone is also very different and there is more of it. I just keep hoping and wishing that a beautiful little Chinese baby is growing and developing in there.
This week, My husband and I went back to Pennsylvania for another transfer attempt. This one was very different in many ways. First, we drove. It was an 8.5 hour drive, but my hubby didn't mind because we were driving a Dodge Charger. (He didn't want to take it back. I agree, it was NICE)
Once we got there, we met with our lovely, generous, and super sweet IPs. They had gifts for me and the girls. I felt awful because I didn't bring anything...well.. other than my uterus. We went to dinner at Seasons 22, which is a super healthy and fresh restaurant that updates its menu with the seasons. Here are some interesting tidbits we learned:
The Intended Father's birthday is 2 days after mine (different years, of course) We are both Aries.
The Intended Mother's birthday is 13 days before my husband's, so they are both Sagittarius which happens to be my favorite sign to be friends with. This connection was made even more humorous when I ordered the same meal as the IF and my husband ordered the same as the IM. We are easily amused. :)
I also found that my IM wants to travel and even live in other countries for several years. I think I may need to go visit them and their baby once they move to Europe. :)
As for the transfer, it went smoothly. I didn't have the same bladder issue as before because the nurse actually looked at my bladder on sonogram and let me empty it a bit before transfer. That part was very stressful last time. I was pretty relaxed for the transfer of two hatching blatocysts, one a grade A and one a grade B. The hatching part is very important, especially in frozen embryo transfers.
Frozen embryos tend to have harder shells which are harder to break through naturally. This is why some clinics offer assisted hatching (at a fee, I understand.) These little ones began hatching on their own. Once an embryo hatches, it can begin to implant. This means that transferring an already hatching embryo will lead to a very quick implantation. The chances of success are increased, by a LOT.
So I am 4 days post transfer now. I have felt a little sluggish, probably due to the two days of bed rest and the long drive home. I have felt very mild cramping, which I see as a good sign because it means stuff is still happening. I also have a slight headache today. This could be a sign of pregnancy or of me staring at a computer screen again after being away from it all week. I am trying to put all of the positive energy I can into this. I will have my blood test on the 28th. I will not be cheating this time with a home test, so we will all just have to wait.
I came back to a cubicle that was wallpapers with images of Nicolas Cage, so my coworkers must have missed me horribly.
Until next time.
I am starting some fun new hormones tomorrow, so I thought it might not be an awful idea to discuss all of the hormones. because OMG. Since my last transfer, I have been on estrace, then nothing, then provera (progesterone), then estrace.... now tomorrow I start Progesterone -2 different kinds, one is the shot form, the other is taken in a not so nice way. I know. You're thinking, "what could be worse than giving myself a shot with a 1.5 inch needle?"
Trust me... it can be worse. Okay. It's not really that bad. The cool thing is that the pharmacist actually mixed it fresh and it has to be refrigerated. Interesting, no?
Anyway, I am normally a generally happy person. Negativity just rolls right off me, and I can't hold a grudge to save my life. On top of that, if someone else is being negative, I can always compartmentalize that, and it doesn't bother me. Shift to now. I cry at the stupidest things. I am fairly certain one of my bosses thinks I have lost it. My immediate supervisor is very understanding since she is a female, and I feel like I can just show her my Hormone Card and she understands.
The worst part of that is the fact that everyone says I need to not stress out. Of course, stress could affect transfer-ability. I am doing much better at that right now since I have added some meditation/visualization to my day, but last time when I had trouble with my lining, I was very much STRESSED
I want this to work so badly. I know my IPs are just wonderful people who deserve to have a successful transfer and a healthy baby. I knew it would be a huge deal in my life, but I never expected it to bother me so much when I was not successful. I knew it would be hard, but I thought the hard part was being pregnant, not getting there.
I believe I had to go through this experience though. I think I needed to appreciate a little bit better the struggle that some go through with getting pregnant. I needed to see that it is more than just throwing an egg in there and letting it cook for nine months. This has been quite a learning experience for me. I just hope that the next step in my learning experience is the beginning of a healthy pregnancy that starts on Tuesday.
Please, if you have any sticky baby dust... throw it this way.
I am so excited! My transfer has been scheduled for next Tuesday, the 15th. At my check up yesterday morning, my lining was at a solid 9. Arrangements were made later that day for my husband and I to drive out to Pennsylvania next Monday. We will hopefully be able to stop and visit a few points of interest on the way. Any suggestions? (We are going from Goshen, OH to Bryn Mawr, PA)
The intended father has asked that we stay for an extra day of rest after the transfer. I can see why. Some movement, walking or yoga perhaps, would be good for assisting implantation. Walking a very long time through a loud and busy airport then going on a flight is a little more stressful. I don't much care for airplane rides. I do like how fast they are. I think we will be driving for 8.5 hours or so there and back.
I know we are planning on going to Longwood Garden because so many people have told me I should. I feel like surrounding myself with beautiful flowers can only help the process, yes? I definitely think it will work this time. Everyone, think very sticky thoughts for me. I can use all of the positive energy I can get.
A lot has happened since I last wrote. Most of the happenings have been of the "hurry up and wait " variety. I am mostly okay with that for a couple of reasons.First, well.. I didn't really relish the idea of being super pregnant during the hottest months of summer. Second, I admittedly know almost nothing about the whole process, but I felt the nurses started me again way too early. I don't feel like giving gory details, but after my first failed transfer they were prepping me for a second within two months. I hadn't had time to regulate or get normal.
I was only mildly surprised when my uterine lining was not able to get thick enough for transfer. I went back once a week for three weeks in the hopes of success as well as upping my estrogen intake by quite a bit. After the third check, the clinic decided to start me over with ten days of provera, and a nice long appointment with Aunt Flo.
After that, my next checkup showed that I had super high estrogen levels. I guess this can hinder the ability for a transfer to work and can lead to birth defects. I was, once more, told to wait another week before moving forward.
My last appointment was last Thursday, and my levels checked out good, so I am back on track for a mid-April transfer. My lining is now at 6.6 (the goal being 7-8.) I can't help but feel like things are more 'right' this time. I think it will work. I hope.
The most frustrating thing about this journey is that the doctor I have seen 3 to 4 times a month since last November A. doesn't ever remember me, and B. can't tell me anything because he is my monitoring doctor. My actual doctor is in PA and has only seen me once. That was at the first failed transfer. I feel like the doc that sees me should have some insight as to how to make this thing work. I also feel like it is a disservice to the intended parents who are paying for all of these appointments that all their fertility clinic gets out of it is a picture of my uterus and some numbers saying my hormones are on level. I don't really know how it works out. I suppose it must since they have a decent rate of success. I am just trying not to stress about it and be as healthy as I can.
Wish me luck.