Beta # 2 Results!

I just want to thank everyone for all the love and support over the last 2 days.  We are still in shock but little by little things are starting to sink in a bit more.  I know this news isn’t always easy to read or receive in this community.  That said, I just want you to know that my heart and prayers are with everyone wherever they may be in their own journey to have a child.   I don’t know how to express that well, but that’s where we are at.  We are so humbled by this most recent turn of events in our world and give all the glory to our God.

Our Beta was 427 today.  The number went from 98.4 to 427 in just 2 days. Our first ultrasound will be on August 13th.  We are really looking forward to it!!!!

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9dp5dt. Beta Results. Pregnant!

I don’t even know where to start.  These past 9 days have been a faith building exercise.  Learning to trust, learning to wait.  Lessons that seem to reappear time and time again in my life.  This past week and a half was no exception.

On 3dp5dt transfer I had my only “symptom” of a possible impending pregnancy.  I felt a few quick, sharp stabbing pains in my left flank. I also experienced a few brief cramps with the intensity of my uterus feeling like it was being wrung out like a wet rag.  That was it.   Other than that, I have felt 100% completely normal.  Though I guess this is not a surprise as I have not really experienced any side effects of any of the medications throughout this IVF cycle.  The only thing I had was a little nipple tenderness with my high estrogen levels prior to retrieval.  Nonetheless, it began to make me nervous, I scoured people’s blogs and the internet…should I be feeling more?  I worried and I fretted…but then I remembered, every story is different, there are plenty of people who don’t feel pregnant for weeks.  I realized, once again, that this WHOLE thing is out of my control and that all I could do was keep trusting God, keep walking, and keep hoping.

My husband and I decided that we would test early.  I figured I would rather ease into whatever is ahead.  If it’s negative, I wanted to begin to prepare myself slowly.  I figured that would be easier for me to shoulder than waiting until beta day with all the stress and anxiety of finally getting to that day only to find out it was negative.  We took our first test last Saturday at 6dp5dt.  After  peeing on the stick, I quickly dismissed it as soon as I saw the control line appear without the slightest mark on the test line, assumed it was negative and jumped in the shower.   Perhaps in hopes to convince and prepare my own heart, I had reminded my husband prior to taking the test that it was too early and that it would probably be negative.  Nonetheless, in the shower, my heart sank and I prayed that God would give me the strength to handle this whole thing if it didn’t work.  Lo and behold, upon getting out of the shower, I looked at the test and there it was…a faint pink line.  The first I have ever seen in our 20 months of TTC.  My husband could hardly believe it.  I thought back to all the encouraging posts I have seen of women with pee sticks that started out faint and slowly grew darker.  Where would this go?  Could this be it? Was it still possible the hcg trigger shot was still in me?  It had been 13 days since we had had our trigger shot.  Only time would tell.  So we kept waiting and continued living.  We prayed and prayed and prayed to our faithful God who is sovereign whom we knew had the perfect plan for our lives.

The next day the test was positive AGAIN!  We decided there must be something wrong with these cheap 88 cent Walmart test sticks and dug in the bathroom closet for our one and only digital pregnancy test.  This would tell us for SURE that we weren’t pregnant, I just knew it.  That’s all they had ever shown us.  A big, fat emotionless NOT PREGNANT.  But within a minute I realized it had left out the NOT and only the word PREGNANT had appeared on the screen.  Could it be true?

Well, our line continued to darken yesterday and this morning.  I went in for my beta at 8am and waited 5.5 agonizing hours for my clinic to let me the know the results. Finally at 1:30pm my Doctor called to let me know that I was PREGNANT.  He told me that they had all been fighting over who would get to call me with my results and that he won the fight because he is the oldest.  I thought that was SOOO sweet.  I didn’t expect him to call at all, as the lab tech told me this morning that she is the one who typically calls with results!

Our beta was 98.4!  We are so excited about this number but also a little nervous.  I hope it is high enough, I guess we’ll know in a few days.  I just gotta keep the faith!  It all comes back to that for me.

We feel extremely humbled and are in complete shock right now.  We feel beyond blessed but are also experiencing a great deal of what I am calling “survivor” guilt until I can figure out a better term.  We don’t feel like we deserve this amazing outcome with so many still in the trenches.  Our hearts break for everyone battling infertility and we want everyone to get their joyous results too.  Also, I am all to aware of our how delicate this pregnancy is and will just have to wait and watch and keep trusting and praying that God will bring it to fruition.   I will never forget the road that has led me here and those that have journeyed with me.  Thank you for your support, your care and all your prayers.

I will keep you posted with our next results on Thursday.

BLESSED to be PUPO!!!! 1dp5dt

I can’t believe I am typing those words.  Long before IVF was a consideration for us and the hows and what ifs of our fertility were bent on timing and OPKs, in the days when I first began blogging, I remember seeing that as a part of someone’s blog title.  I remember racking my brain trying to figure out what it could mean.

1dp5dt:  1 day post 5 day transfer

Here we are and what a glorious cycle it has been!  I can’t even believe it.  Where to start?  All I can think to do is keep thanking God for his grace to us in this journey…but let me give you a little more detail first.

Yesterday was our embryo transfer.  It was went very smoothly.  Our Acupuncturist met us at the clinic and I was so thankful to have her there.  With a bladder full and screaming to be emptied, I was so glad the pre treatment needles helped the time to pass quickly.  Next my RE..if you don’t mind I just gotta give him a few kudos before proceeding.  We just LOVE him and can hardly believe we are so blessed to have him as he is one of the top rated in the country AND he came in on a Sunday to do my transfer though he wasn’t on call. What a guy!  Ok, back to the story, following the acupuncture, he and the embryologist came in to give us the good news….

Of the 10 that fertilized…9 had made it to the BLAST stage.  We were pretty overwhelmed initially, having expected only a few to survive to this stage of the game.  We transferred 2 embryos. For those of you interested, we transferred a 5AA and a 4AA.  Following our post treatment acupuncture it was off to our home and on to the couch.  I am on strict bed rest for 48 hours.  I can get up to use the bathroom but that is about it.  No showers allowed until Tuesday morning.

Bed rest has proceeded uneventfully.  My husband has such a servant’s heart and has blessed with me so much care over the last day and a half.  Home cooked meals, pillow propping, companionship, lots of good conversation.  I am enjoying our time together though I am EAGER to get off the couch and into the shower tomorrow.

This afternoon, I received more good news.  Our embryologist called to report that she was able to freeze 6 embryos.  All grade AA!!!!!!!  Unreal.  1 6AA, 2 5AA, and 3 4AA.  WHOA!  She told me that our cycle was absolutely amazing and they rarely see anything like it. To have 9 of 10 make it to the blast stage, all grade AA and to only have 1 fail to freeze…OUTSTANDING! We are once again feeling overwhelmed and humbled by God’s goodness to us.  I give him all the credit though I am thankful to have taken all the supplements I did to increase egg quality.  They seemed to have really payed off!

Anyway, I’m not sure how this will all turn out…but as of today, I am PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!

Here’s a scanned picture of our 2 sweet embies.

Kissing Ovaries. Post Retrieval Day 1

We made it through our egg retrieval!  Everything went PERFECTLY.  We retrieved 16 eggs and found out this morning that 10 fertilized via ICSI.

I was in a lot of pain throughout the day yesterday. I became pretty worried I was headed straight into the abyss of OHSS when I stepped onto the scale last night and realized that I had gained almost 4 pounds since yesterday morning.  It hurt to urinate and do pretty much anything else, even sitting was hard.  But overnight, my body worked a miracle and after getting up to the bathroom at least 10 times, my body managed to shed just over 3 of the 4 pounds of fluid.  I must give a HUGE thanks to my OHSS preventative diet  – the protein shakes and electrolyte water/salty diet is paying off.  Also, more than anything I am so blessed by my sweet husband who took such amazing care of me and made me homemade chicken and rice soup to slurp on during the afternoon post retrieval.

I am SO thankful to be feeling so much more like myself today.  It still hurts a tad to go to the bathroom, but I am finding my strength again and happy to not feel so “full” where my ovaries are.  They mentioned that my ovaires were so large they referred to them as “kissing” ovaries when they saw them under ultrasound for the retrieval.  I have heard of kissing tonsils, but never kissing ovaries…kinda cute, I guess.  Apparently with little room to spare in side of me, they opted to grow together.  Regardless, they did great and we are beyond pleased.  Words can’t even describe the elation we feel at the thought of 10 potential children…I know that number will dwindle dramatically over the next few days, but I am just so thankful.  Something that has been IMPOSSIBLE for us on our own has now been made possible!!!!

Thank you all for your support, I will keep you posted.  We will not hear back from the embryologist until Saturday.

Our transfer is scheduled for Sunday at 0945. We are going to have our accupuncturist come to do a treatment pre/post procedure.  I am really looking forward to that. Following our transfer, as my dear friend told me, I will then be P.U.P.O…Pregnant until Proven Otherwise!!!!!

Trigger Tonight

I am beyond thrilled!  I have finally been given the green light to take my trigger shot tonight.  I am currently on Day 9 of my stimulation medications.  My body has responded all too well to the drugs and they have been worried about my risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).  As a result, every other day, after my ultrasound and lab work results have come back, my meds have been decreased in hopes that my estrogen levels wouldn’t continue to rise too dramatically. They say they like to see them double every other day, mine had been tripling early on.  Though decreasing my doses has increased the duration of my treatment cycle, it is a HUGE precautionary step for which I am so grateful.  Also, I have read that an estrogen level above 5000 on the day of trigger can dramatically increase your risk of OHSS.  After backing off my Follistim significantly on Friday, I am finally where they want me, an estrogen level of 3967 and 22 follicles.

Nonetheless, on Friday they started me on an OHSS preventative diet. This diet will help keep fluid in my blood stream and moving through and out of my body, rather than into my cells which would result in water retention, bloating and many potentially SEVERE complications. This diet includes the following recommendations.

  • No Free Water.  My husband picked up some NUUN dissolvable electrolyte tablets at REI…so far, so good.
  • High PROTEIN.  Whey protein shakes.  I am adjusting…not a huge shake girl, but it’s for a short time.
  • High Sodium.  I like a little salt on things, but I’m typically not one who loves a little food with her salt.  But, once again, a small sacrifice. They recommend drinking V8 juice for this.  This has NEVER been a beverage of choice for me.  NASTY stuff…but I might as well drink in a few more veggies.
  • Limiting carbs, sugar, pasta…all that good stuff!

Anyway, one day at a time.  I am going into my egg retrieval eyes wide open.  I have done the anesthesia for egg retrievals many times, it’ll be interesting being on the receiving side of the IV this time.  Though I give anesthesia every day, I am definitely more nervous about THAT then I am the retrieval.  I am sure it will all go very smoothly.

I feel super blessed to be in this spot!  God is SO good and it has been a very LONG journey.  I am just so thankful for my sweet husband, supportive friends and such a wonderful infertility clinic to help me through this process!

Here’s a pic to spice up this post.  My favorite Chateau of the Loire Valley with QUITE a juicy story behind it.  Chenoceau.

so little control…waiting for retrieval

So little control.  So much faith.  I will not give up hope that this IVF cycle will be a success.

In my CoNTroL:

  • Taking the right medications at the right time
  • What I eat
  • Getting to my appointments

OUT of my CoNTroL:

  • How many follicles grow (today there were 24, an ever changing number)
  • How many eggs I produce
  • How many mature eggs there will be
  • How many will fertilize
  • How many will grow for 5 days
  • If there will be any left to transfer
  • If there will be any to freeze
  • If the transferred embryos will implant
  • If an embryo will be carried to term

So much is out of my hands.  No amount of stress, worry, or determination will change ANY of these factors.  I have never felt more out of control.  This journey is not a product of my own preparation or study or pursuit or persistence like so many other things in the past.  I have never had to depend more on my Maker, to trust more entirely in His plan for my life.  I can’t do anything but my own small part.  The rest is up to Him.  Though this is my body, it’s ultimately putty in the hands of my GREAT GOD…who is moving and willfully knitting together my life, my story, and the journey through which He will use me.  I remain grateful that I don’t have to muster up another ounce of strength to make my way through it…for He is my HOPE and my STRENGTH.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

I LOVE my story, I would not trade it for any others.  Though it has been full of hurt and heartache these have been but moments in a far greater current of love, adventure, and blessing.

Thank you.  I wait on you, Jesus.