Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is it a Gummi Bear?

Nope, it's Little A, looking straight at the dildo cam, legs tightly closed (no porn star here), arms at the side, head slightly dipped. The protruding protuberance is the umbilical cord, not the eh, other protuberance. Thriving at 2.61 cm. Measuring 9 weeks, 3 days.
I feel a thousand thoughts and I can't express a single one. Not a one.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Another of many thank yous

A sincere, heartfelt, resounding Thank You for your many kind words. My RE mentioned at the first ultrasound that B's sac was disproportionately smaller than A's, which could be a concern, but that he had seen many successful twin pregnancies even with different sized sacs. I ignored the former part of his comment and focused exclusively on the latter, particularly because in my world, e.g., screw the bad news and give me a *%$& glimmer of hope asshole, hope is all I got going for me on the fertility front. I thought once we saw the heartbeat at 6 something weeks, little B would pull it together and thrive, notwithstanding the stress of having A, the undulating gargantuan fetus, showing off constantly. Alas.

I very much understand that B's problems were more than sibling rivalry, obviously, but I was surprised at how much I wanted, yearned, craved, hoped that they both would make it. Kind of seems silly to type that, considering how much effort has seeded my personal path of procreation, but still. It knocks me out that a little being with a heartbeat that resembled bad reception on an old Magnavox meant so much so quickly with so little effort. We have a pretty mighty capacity for love, wouldn't you say?

All that rambling to say that I'm ok, really. I'm thrilled to have A wriggling and cavorting away. And have to believe, with all my heart, that A will stick around for the long haul. On a lighter, or heavier note depending on how you look at it, I really must shave 1000 calories off my daily diet now (hello, two sausage biscuits and chocolate milk for breakfast, and goodbye).

Thanks again for your kindnesses.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The fickle hand of fate...

My little B twin didn't make it. I feel such disappointment and at the same time such joy that A is thriving. The two emotions kind of cancel one another out, huh? How strange to go from really wanting only one child, to becoming so invested and, well, in love with the idea of two. No limits to our hearts, I guess?

A is still measuring one day ahead and continues to twitter about in its little sac. Kind of reminds me of those seahorses you could order from the back of Archie comics. 2.16 centimeters. I'm hoping for hearty stock with that one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inner strength and Fortitude

Mine currently lasts 6 days. Let me explain. I can make it to day 6 after an ultrasound until I start "the process," which always involves a Dr. Google search consisting of [how far along I am], [twins] and [miscarriage]. (Last week I lasted 4 days, but let's discount that pitiful lack of will power while I move on with my story.) Dr. Google then produces 1,345,987,098 hits of women who have had miscarriages on [how far along I am], and grim statistics proving that women who have suffered infertility, who are over the age of 35, who have had a previous miscarriage and who have had blond highlights and split ends since age 16, a tendency to the occasional acerbic comment and a passion for shoes have a miscarriage rate of 79.8% at [how far along I am]. At which point I shut the office door (usually), fondle my breasts for any sign of tenderness and then feeling none, sulk until quittin' time and go home and sulk some more.

It is a sad, sad, sad story. I can completely understand why Tom dropped $50,000 on a sonogram machine for Katie.

Oh, one other factoid. I will be 39 on February 11th. It's actually quite a nice number until you start thinking about how old you are in dog years, analogous to fertility years, which makes me 273 years old.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blame it on the hormones?

Last Thursday, I felt fantastic. Really, really good. No headaches, no hung over feeling. Still would rather eat a cheeseburger than do 30 minutes on the elliptical, but that's par for the course (actually that's an eagle). So, I called my husband and said "I'm a little worried I'm feeling so good, maybe something's not ok." Silence. I could hear the eye rolling. "Everything's fine. We have an appointment on Monday. You'll see then." Silence on my part. "You're thinking about going for another ultrasound aren't you." Denial. "No, I can wait until Monday."

Fifteen minutes later, I'm on my way to get another ultrasound. Amazing. I could see Twin A moving. As in jitterbugging. The nurse pointed out A's little arm. Wow. A's an overachiever and is measuring a day ahead. Twin B is still measuring a day or two behind, but has a strong heartbeat. I think I saw Twin A waving at B, as in "wish you had one of these don't you sucka?" I'm concerned that A isn't learning how to get along well with others.

So, no ultrasound yesterday; I have to wait until Thursday. I'm digging this ultrasound on demand action.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If you're looking for proof that there's more mystery than science to IVF...

Look no further than my infertility journey. Note to the Fates: This is not to suggest that this pregnancy is a sure thing, but rather to prove that you, Fates, have the control, certainly not me.

IVF #1 - November/December 2007
FSH - 6
BCPs, no lupron
150 units Follistim, 150 units Menopur
Ganirelix, estrogen tabs, estrogen patch
baby aspirin
No acupuncture
Retrieval: 14 eggs, 9 mature, 7 fertilized via ICSI
3 day transfer - one eight cell, one five cell, froze two blasts
Lining = 8

FET#1 January 2008
Cancelled due to thin lining (6)

FET #2 February 2008
both blasts survived the freeze, both transferred
lining 8ish
BFP, chemical pregnancy

IVF #2 August/September 2008
BCPs, no lupron
150 units Follistim, 150 units Menopur, after 4 days raised to 200 Follistem, 225 Menopur
Ganirelix, estrogen tabs, estrogen patch
baby aspirin
Retrieval: 5 eggs, 4 mature, 4 fertilized via ICSI
3 day transfer - two eight cells, froze one blast
Lining = 8.7

IVF #3 (WTF cycle) December 2008 (Donor egg discussion until FSH came back at 6)
BCPs for less than two weeks
5 units lupron (during stim), 200 units Follistem, 200 units Menopur
No estrogen tabs until 2nd week of stims, no Ganirelix
baby aspirin
Retrieval: 9 eggs, 8 mature, 8 fertilized via ICSI
6 day transfer - two AA blasts, froze 3 (all AB blasts)
Lining = 9 (WTF?)
BFP, so far at 8 weeks, twins (WTF)

I have no idea why, overall, my third IVF was so much better than the first two. Logically, it doesn't make sense. What it does prove to me is that if you have two negatives in a row, you have to change something. I don't know if it was the microdose of lupron that made the difference or if I simply hit the one good cycle of my life. No idea. I regurgitate this data only to point out that there really is hope even when it feels like it's all over.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pass me a cold one.

I started a post a couple of days about how I felt fine. Really, really fine. So fine, in fact, that I almost typed "this pregnancy stuff is a breeze." Cheeky words from a woman who's only in her seventh week of pregnancy. Today, 7w6d, I kind of don't feel fine. I feel like I've been on a 3 day bender of vodka, cigarettes and cheetos. I feel hung over. Kind of ooey. Headachey. Sour stomachy. Nothing too dramatic, just out of sorts. Sad that the best way I know to describe it is hung over, but that's exactly how I feel. Don't rat me out, but yesterday, I shut my office door, closed the blinds, redirected my phone calls, spread my coat out on the floor and slept for 30 minutes. I'm fairly sure I've never done that hung over. Did it help? While napping, sure. Waking up sucked. Bed time at 8pm was a dream.

What concerns me is the headache part. I've had migraines all my life except for the last five years. Inexplicably, they just went away. No idea why. But last night I woke up with a headache on the left side of my forehead. It eventually went away with a cold cloth and Tylenol, but I so hope that this isn't going to be a trend. Particularly because Tylenol is not my drug of choice in situations such as these. Demerol, yes; Tylenol, uh no!

Even more odd than the symptom watch is how strange it feels to talk about it at all; like an impostor at a costume ball. In my deepest heart, this last IVF, my third fresh cycle, was what I needed to let go. What I mean is that I knew that I couldn't walk away from our efforts to have a biological child unless I felt that I had given it everything I had to give and then some. This 3rd IVF was that for me. Not even my harshest critic--me--could blame me from wiping my hands and saying I'd had enough. I didn't feel that after my 2nd IVF failed. I felt that I couldn't walk away. Yet. This was going to be my--dare I say it?-- closure, one way or another. Unlike with any of my other cycles, this one was just going to be whatever the hell it ended up being. I was just going to take the outcome, the good, the bad or the ugly, and deal with it. Sounds like "just relax and it will happen," huh? God, I hope not. IVF, no matter how many times you go through it, is anything but relaxing. IVF #3 gave me acceptance, even before the outcome.

All this to say, again and again and again, the fat lady (who is actually looking a lot like me these days) hasn't sung on this one. Tomorrow is eight weeks, which is excruciatingly early. No plans have been made, no decisions, no material objects dealing with maternity hood have been purchased. Just coasting. Coasting and hoping.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Week 7, which consisted of 32 days.

And still two little heartbeats, both around 170 bpm. A is measuring right at 7w3d and B is measuring 7w1d.

I asked the nurse practitioner how their cycles went this last time and she said they had an 85% pregnancy rate. Wow. As one who usually hangs around in that 15% "do not pass go" percentage, it's a happy day to be in the majority. (I single handedly ruined my clinic's stats for the 36-38 year old group for the last two years straight.)

So, we live to fight another day!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Knowledge Sucks

For obvious reasons, I've developed a hefty envy of fertile people over the last couple of years. No invasive procedures, no regular blood draws and weigh-ins (Weight Watchers is much cheaper, but I've heard they don't let you blame the stims for the weight gain and there's no dildocam), no daily play by plays of the inadequacies of your and your significant other's reproductive parts. Not to mention the significant cash savings the fertile enjoy. Fertiles can say just about anything and the rest of the population isn't offended. "There are millions of needy children out there and you're spending how much on fertilty treatments? Just adopt." Or "I can't even sit next to my husband without getting pregnant." Or "I'm sorry your 4th IVF didn't work out, or was it your 5th? Anyway, I can't wait to see you at my baby shower. I'm registered at Pottery Barn Kids."

What I really envy is their ignorance, and I say this--truly--in the kindest of ways. Fertiles get a positive peestick, then a bloodtest, then, ba-bam, they pop out a kid in 9+ months. Generally speaking, fertiles have no idea that a thousand things can go wrong. I envy that freedom. Infertiles know that it's touch and go, day by day, and to not even dare say the "B" word or plan a baby's room or, for God's sake, wander into a Babies.R.Us too soon. Infertiles know that a heartbeat is only as good as that day's ultrasound and that the next week can bring devastation. And we also know that no matter how many times we say "it's too early to get excited," "too much can still go wrong," our hearts get wrapped up in that little grain of rice sized life or lives exponentially more quickly than the timing of our next appointment.

Oh to be able to disassociate. To compartmentalize the joy that bubbles under the surface until the grains of rice become babies. To capture that part of yourself that knew you were going to be ok whatever the outcome before the outcome eclipsed your wildest expectations. If only those little heartbeats didn't make your own grow and swell and burst. There I've done it. Again, I've exposed my pale, vulnerable underbelly to the fickle hand of fate. Six weeks, five days and a million more to go.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm beginning to like 2009.

Two little heartbeats. Two adults sobbing like babies.

It's so, so early, but today I'm going to allow the joy to fill every nook and cranny and heartbeat. Like Scarlett O'hara, I'll worry about the next scan tomorrow.

My God, two little heartbeats.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

And she waits.

Thank you for your kind words. I didn't get my blood drawn. I was actually putting on my coat and leaving work to slunk to the immediate care center for a blood draw when my phone rang. It was my practical husband who, after I explained my soon to be slunking activity, laughed out loud. He said, it will either devastate you, leave you scratching your head, researching on Google for hours or give you comfort for a short period of time. Let it go. We'll know soon enough. He's right. Really. I'm going out on a limb on this one and certainly tempting that sadistic bastard Fate, but I feel something's cooking where it should be. (A side note to the lovely Phoenix: I found some old OPKs and peed on those. I find I've developed an almost Pavlovian urge to pee on white plastic cylindrical objects. Hide the spforks.)

That said, I've found myself in a strange sort of world these last two weeks. Too soon and too many unknowns to be excited. Tinges of worry, concern. Superstition, um, yes. (Do not say 'baby" out loud because that will cause the fates to zero in on me and realize that I wasn't meant to get knocked up.) Yes, even ambivalence. Not "I could give or take this pregnancy" ambivalence, but the "if I end up having to pick up the pieces of me, I want them to be large and easily identifiable, not a million tiny shards" self protection type of ambivalence. I feel a bit like the proverbial deer in the headlights. Between us, I had come to accept that this wasn't in the cards. Disappointment after disappointment after disappointment. At some point you have to pick up the hopefully large and identifiable pieces of you and move on. Now I find that there's a better than average chance that this could work out and, frankly, I'm at a loss as how to react and act and think and feel. (I guess that means cocktails are out of the question at this point.)

So tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. If there is something there (note I did not say the "B" word because obviously it wouldn't be yet anyway, but still) can I justify a bit of excitement? I'm not talking Pottery Barns Kids or What to Expect when You're Expecting excitement, but maybe a tinge of this could possibly work out, who in the hell would have thought it, contained as much as possible joy? If there isn't anything there, well, I'll deal with that too.