Breathing.

So I don’t want to alarm anyone…

But apparently in 7 months I will be giving birth to either A) an alien or B) a Mexican Luchador (do I have to name it Nacho Libre?)

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Had my first appointment with the OB today obviously, and all is well. My blood pressure is back to normal (LOOK ME RELAXING DAMMIT), and the baby’s heartbeat is back down to an average 174bpm (it was 189 at 8 weeks!). I’m 10+1 but still measuring a few days ahead of schedule. But we got to see it move! About halfway through the tech taking her measurements, Peanut decided to wake up. It started wiggling around and moving. I swear there were jazz hands. My thyroid is being a shit and levels were at 3.4 at last check so my dosage has been increased yet again. They took like 8 vials of blood from me…brought back some lovely IVF memories. We’re doing the Panorama NIPT testing. Hopefully in 7-10 business days, we’ll find out if we’re at risk for chromosomal abnormalities and will even know the sex.

Holy shit. I’m pregnant. I might actually be having a baby.

Breathe.

We still have a little peanut. Measuring right on schedule at 6 weeks, 6 days, heart beating at 138bpm. We heard the heartbeat, y’all. That was…surreal. It doesn’t feel real at all. I’ve said it many times…does IVF actually WORK for people? Because my last two failures have kind of set me up to believe this is all just a pipe dream.

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But hey. Today I am pregnant with a little peanut with a heartbeat. I go back in a week and a half for one more sonogram. If all is still progressing as it should be, I’ll be released to my OB.

So for now…I have to keep reminding myself to breathe.

Counting down the days.

I’m still here. Sort of. Our IVF break should be coming to a close in the next few days…I should be starting my cycle and giving the clinic a call this week. Oy. I’m already gearing up for all the emotions and intensity that I know is coming. Bright side (FUCK YEAH OPTIMISM!) of all this nonsense is that it is our second go-round, so I am miles ahead of where I was earlier this year in my preparations.

Husband and I took a very much needed vacation after the October tax deadline. Five glorious day in beautiful Oregon driving down the coast and then spending two days in Portland with friends. We actually sort of toyed with the idea of moving to the West coast someday. We adore Oregon and Washington (and while I love visiting California, I don’t think I could live there). We’ve kind of set an internal revisiting deadline of 5 years. At that point, we’ll have a kid or not and will definitively know what if we’ll ever be parents or not. I took hundreds of photos, and came away with one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. It features my husband and nature, so clearly it’s awesome. It involved hiking down some slippery rocks – I ended up slipping once and crashing to the rocks…I now have a lovely baseball sized bruise on my left hip. WORTH IT.

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I think this is our last cycle. We’re dipping into retirement savings to fund it, which kills me on the inside as a tax professional. But…this is our new normal. We have to do it and I’m not comfortable financing it. We’re still young enough to take the hit and recover long-term, so I’m somewhat okay with it. The tens of thousands of dollars price tag is a big one, so I don’t think IVF #3 will be a thing if this one is another colossal failure.

I haven’t quite come to terms with the idea that this is our last shot at a biological child. It just does not compute and I can’t quite wrap my head around it. So I’m taking it one day at a time. We still have a chance.

 

Lady in waiting.

So I’m in that odd period of time just waiting for my next period to start so we can get this FET show on the road. It’s both hurtling to me at a scary fast pace and also taking FOREVER to get here. Because you know, fuck you logic.

I feel like my husband and I have talked the previous cycle to death by now. We decided to move forward with the FET for our lone frozen embryo and if that fails, we’ll figure out if we want to take my dad up on his offer of an interest free loan to do another full cycle.

I’ve become somewhat detached to the whole process. I’m walking a very fine line between being optimistic and excited that this could be the cycle that gets us a baby and also being realistic and mentally preparing myself for a possible child free existence. Balance. It tips back and forth all day every day. If I dwell too much on the negative, I play with my dogs or hug my husband until I’m in a better place.

We’ve also been using this down time as a time to just reconnect a bit. A few days ago was the anniversary of our first date, 6 years ago. Oh man. If I knew then what I knew now. God. So much I wish I could tell past me. I honestly think this whole nightmare has brought us much closer than we ever were. There’s something about hitting rock bottom and having to pick each other up and keep going, right?

Anyway, our latest thing is that we signed up for Blue Apron – the meal delivery service. I had a coupon code and figured why the hell not? It’s actually worked out pretty cool. We usually NEVER cook together, it’s one or the other doing the cooking. But this has been a pretty nice way to just spend downtime together that isn’t watching tv or talking yet again about our failure in reproduction land.

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Teamwork, bitches!

My dad is the best.

He made me cry today when we had lunch. Happy tears, I promise! It was a good day.

He’s been the only family member that’s been super supportive and that I’ve confided in throughout the IVF process. My mother knows about it, but she still thinks the whole thing is “bullshit” and that we just need to take a beach vacation and we’ll come home with twins. My dad, however, has offered us an interest free, pay back whenever we can loan to do another round of IVF (if we need it…optimism and whatnot). Which…wow. I just…I love this man so much and I’m so lucky he’s my dad.

Anyway. Onto the happy tears. So we’re talking about everything. He never pries, just asks how I’m doing and how my husband is doing and what our next steps are.

He says “I read in the paper the other day, this article about embryo adoption and how couples that can’t have kids try that instead of traditional adoption.”

“Yeah, we’ve talked about that,” I say. “That way I could still experience pregnancy. But the kid wouldn’t be ours genetically.”

“Well that would be alright,” he said.

This is where I lost it (hormones, people). “What if we never have a kid, Dad?”

“Then you’ll do something else great with your life. Didn’t you always talk about wanting to foster dogs? That could be rewarding. Or you adopt a child and we’ll all love it just as much as we’d love a grandkid that looked just like you.”

I mean really. How did I get so lucky? He’s doing research on embryo adoption for god’s sake. He just wants to be supportive of his daughter. I have some really awesome people in my life.

Side note. I peed on a stick again this morning (shut up). Still negative 7 days after transfer. So…I’m thinking this isn’t happening this go round. Who knows, maybe our little X-man is still in there somewhere and will make its presence known on Wednesday. I’m gonna ignore tomorrow and be in hopeful denial for one more day and then do a final test Wednesday when I wake up before my 8 AM blood draw.

But until then…today was a good day.

Nugget of hope.

Finally the universe has decided to grant us one frickin’ favor. Got a call from the lab. Despite telling us yesterday at the transfer that we would have nothing to freeze…they had continued monitoring our remaining embryos and as of this morning we have ONE FROZEN EMBRYO!! All others arrested and had to be discarded, but one single embryo made it through the night, and it’s actually a very nicely graded blastocyst.

So. If/when the fresh transfer fails…we have one more shot.

Team X-Men still holding on. Optimism, bitches!

No jokes in the stirrups, please.

 

Seriously. No RE should be cracking jokes pre-9 AM while I’m half naked in stirrups. She did it YET AGAIN. We were chatting as she prepped the twat wand and started looking at my ovaries. She mentioned seeing some good follicles and I said, yeah I can feel them.

Then, AS SHE IS MOVING THE WAND INSIDE OF ME, she says “I bet you’re really starting to feel things move in there, huh?”

I just snorted and glared at her. Talk about a trick question. I really like this lady and I’m sure I’ll send her a fruit basket or something if she knocks me up (side note…is this appropriate? I feel like I will literally owe her my first born but fruit cannot convey enough thanks). But for the love of god, let me put some pants on and even the playing field a little.

First monitoring appointment since starting stims. It went pretty quickly and she seemed pleased so I’ll take it. At least 5 follicles going strong in ole Righty, she mentioned a bunch of measurements but I didn’t catch all of them. I know one was at least 14.5 mm and I think I heard another 14 and a 13 in there. Ole Lefty has around the same amount, not quite as large, but still double digit sizes I think. So I get to add Ganirelix to the shot cocktail party tonight to keep me from ovulating these hopefully lovely mature eggs I’m growing here. My E2 levels were at 449 (again, no f-ing clue what this means, but she seemed pleased). I go back Saturday at freaking 8:45 in the morning for more bloodwork and another monitoring appointment. Egg retrieval is still tentatively set for Wednesday, and she still hasn’t made a final decision on if we’ll do a fresh transfer or a freeze all.

Also, how is it possible that these stupid follicles are measured in MILLIMETERS yet have the ability to bloat me up so freaking much?? This is ridiculous. Science baby, you better be awesome.

 

IVF #1 Running Tally:

Number of vials of blood drawn: 13

Number of Twat Wand Sessions: 6

Number of self injections: 10

Document the good days.

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I had to. It was too cute. And accurately sums of the life of my dogs over the past year.

ANYWAY. IVF Cycle #1 is officially a go-go. I have an official calendar and everything. I have to start taking birth control pills tomorrow night (my brain STILL cannot wrap itself around this fact even though intellectually I understand why I’m doing it). I get more blood drawn this Friday. And then NEXT Friday is yet another invasive procedure. And then…the injections.

I’m not going to lie. The fact that in a few weeks I’m going to be stabbing myself with a needle on a regular basis scares the ever loving shit out of me. Don’t get me started on the PIO shots that I hear about. Hi husband, here’s a giant 2 inch needle, please jam this in my ass. Thanks, love ya! Ugh. This process is nothing but pure romance, I tell you. Continue reading