Monday, March 26, 2007

Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment.

I was worried too. Right up until the last minute. In fact, I'm still worried (apparently this is how it goes- a moment of relief, then worry until the next milestone.) The nurse didn't call it the heartbeat scan. It was just a very, very early heartbeat. Barely visible. Not exactly out-of-the-woods territory. A relief? Yes, of course. I saw growth. Growth is good.

I asked about restrictions, as I've been on light duty since ER (no heavy lifting, housework, sex, etc.) and P is getting antsy to celebrate this event (and I detest not being able to vacuum regularly.)

Me: So, am I still on all restrictions?
RE: No intercourse, what else do you want to do?
Me: Um...

So I vacuumed on Saturday and spotted on Sunday (after not spotting since my positive hpt in the fourth week.) I had serious DBTs. I killed the baby by vacuuming the living room. I huddled on the couch most of the day. My symptoms were subsiding and along with the spotting and the barely-there heartbeat, I was feeling pretty doomed.

I feel better today. Somewhat.

Mostly I'm just posting this so that I remember that it happened and hopefully someone will remember that it happened to me if it's happening to them and that it's normal. I think. I hope.

Friday, March 23, 2007


I was really nervous about today. Lots of people see heartbeats at this stage. Some don't. Of those who don't, some get good news the next week. Some don't. They tried to prep me by saying that it was probably too early, but I really, really wanted to see a heartbeat today.

When the nurse began the probing, she told me that she'd find the sac first and then turn the screen. The first thing she did was run into my ovary (ok, not literally of course, but that's what it felt like.) They're still pretty big, and they're getting in the way of my uterus trying to stretch out. I've been feeling it. Once we got the wow, those are big! exclamations out of the way, she got the uterus in view. Sort of. I could still see the screen and it looked like she was having problems. She asked my if my uterus was tipped. I replied that I had been told both that it was and that it wasn't (true story) and she stopped. What? No way! You are definitely tipped. It doesn't matter for anything... She resumed the wand swirling (which makes you have to pee even if you've gone twice already since you arrived at the office) and I saw what seemed to be a nice, wavy, empty uterus.


And then a glimpse of something. I wanted to shout out to her, but I was feeling a little panic-y and I'm not sure I could have spoken. Then she brought it into view.

The sac had grown. I could see the yolk sac. And the tiny speck that is the embryo. She pointed it all out to me even though I was already mentally cataloging all the aspects of the image I was seeing. I didn't see that flicker I was hoping for.

She moved around and came back and took measurements. It looks like it's measuring slightly behind. I tried not to be disappointed. I've already asked a lot of this little embryo. Here are two cells- go make a whole human body. I want to see a heart beating in four weeks.

Then she shifted the image a little bit and I thought I saw something. She moved again and she asked me if I saw it. I did. It was the tiny flicker of a beating heart. It's not yet measurable, but it's beating and I'll take it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

analyze that

So, I'm sitting in my blue recycling bin and floating on the water. There are dolphins swimming all around me, propping me up on the water's surface since my bin is not exactly a flotation device. But there are sharks in the water. I haven't seen one, but I know they're out there and I'm afraid.


Last night my back was really bothering me and I couldn't get comfortable. Then I began to have some light cramping and other miscellaneous pains in the general ute area. (without bleeding, so that's a mark in the sigh-of-relief column) I drifted off to sleep, woke up, snapped at P for commenting on the fact that I fell asleep on the couch again, and went to bed.

Next ultrasound is on Friday. It may or may not be too early to hear a heartbeat. God, I hope it has one.

I'm starting to feel the fear creep back in.

Friday, March 16, 2007

This week: (so far, so good)

Hurdle #1: The beta came back positive as expected. (After a week's worth of positive hpts, I was feeling a bit cocky about it at my blood draw - so glad the fates didn't decide to screw with me.)

Hurdle #2: It doubled appropriately.

Hurdle #3: I went in for my first ultrasound. I saw a tiny sac squarely in the ute, just where it was supposed to be.

I can scarcely believe it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The One With the Mixed Emotions

I've been asked more than once if I'm excited. I guess I don't sound like I am (part of that I'm blaming on the fact that I'm still fighting this nasty bitch of a cold.) Isn't this what I wanted? Isn't this what we've worked so hard for so long to achieve? Of course it is. Of course I want this. Absolutely, 100%. The truth is, I'm scared.

I was talking to my verybestfriend the other day and I realized that the process of establishing pregnancy is so different for infertiles that the process itself breeds (ha) insecurity and fear even when there is no real reason for it.

The average fertile would pee on one stick, maybe two, and then plan how she was going to tell her husband, boyfriend, onenightstand about the pregnancy. She'd call her doctor (or find one!) and be seen sometime between 8-12 weeks for an ultrasound.

The average infertile pees on nine sticks and doesn't entirely believe any of them. She goes for one, two, more blood tests knowing that at any moment those pretty positives could be meaningless. Knowing that the numbers should double, she worries if they will. She has a super early ultrasound to see if the embryo is in the uterus, reminding her that there's a chance that it could be somewhere else. She goes for another ultrasound specifically hoping to see a heartbeat. This is a reminder that there might not be one.

The average pregnant person doesn't look at each appointment to validate the pregnancy. She is pregnant, and these milestones are expected. For infertiles, the milestones are hurdles.

I don't know of any infertile who would give up any of those steps. We get used to relying on tests, blood work, ultrasounds, and doctors to confirm and explain all aspects of our reproductive lives. Can you imagine just peeing on a stick? It's mind-boggling. There has not been a day since that first test that I haven't wanted to pee on another one just to make sure (and proof of this insanity exists in the form of nine sticks lined up in a spare bathroom.) There hasn't been a day where I didn't consider what my beta might be and what I might expect it to be if it doubles properly. I have a friend with three children. She doesn't know what a beta is.


I've gotten so used to seeing myself a certain way - infertile, broken, sad - that it's really hard to adjust to the idea of being a pregnant person. In fact, I still haven't used the "p" word in reference to myself. Even when I saw the word come up on a digital test. Twice.


When I began this cycle, I tried really hard to be optimistic. I wanted to assume that it would work. I was only somewhat successful. Fear and pessimism can be hard drugs to kick. Much harder than gonal-f. I saw that a bunch of infertiles, some long-time vets even, were getting positives. There was a part of me that felt then that I was doomed to failure. Statistics, you know. Someone has to get the negative, and I had gotten very used to the idea that it could be me. I had seen waves of pregnancy announcements before. While I don't begrudge any infertile her success at all, it's really hard when it's not me. Some people can see success as a reminder that ART does work. Others, notsomuch. I've often fallen into the "other" category. Ask me if the glass is half-empty or half-full and I'll tell you that it depends on what's in the glass.

I don't want to hurt anyone. I don't want to "forget where I came from." There was a time when I posted about something that happened to me, I don't remember what, but it was depressing, and someone wrote me an encouraging comment. I went to check out that person's blog and saw that they were newly pregnant. It really hurt to see that. Irrational? Probably. But hurt is hurt. The person was being kind, but just hearing from her made me remember what I didn't have. I don't want to do that to anyone else. So now I find myself holding back from commenting. How will she take it? If I say that I'm sorry for her loss, bfn, bad day, whatever, will I make her feel worse?


Where am I going? Will this ever evolve into a coherent, cohesive post? I don't know. As happy as I am to have made it this far, I am acutely aware of how far there still is to go. It's only just now beta day (crazy late, yes, but still...)

And I'm scared.

But like I told my friend, my mom, my cats, and my wonderfully happy P, I'm also excited. I swear.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

did that really just happen?

I've never seen anything like that. In all the time we've been trying, I've never had a whiff of a positive test. Not a false positives, no evaporation lines.

That plus sign in particular is simply amazing.

I'm pretty sure P and I are still in shock. Can this really be it? After FOUR YEARS, could we finally have gotten our wish? Surreal.

My cold has gone from unpleasant to miserable, and I'm having a hard time sleeping now. I realize there are worse problems to have.

I also had my first bit of spotting this evening. I'm a bit freaked out by that. I know it happens to lots of people, but after the high of a positive hpt it's not very comforting.

Thank you so much for all of your kind words and congrats. So awesome to have people I could share this with that truly understand what it took to get here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

wonder of wonders,

chicken, you say? why, yes, I am.

I still have this cold and I'm not any less tired, but I am glad that you all agree with me that waiting until Monday for a beta is torture.

I am now the scared hopeful owner of several sticks to be urinated on. Of course, I don't have the courage to actually pee on them, but I have purchased them. They're sitting on my coffee table right now. Looking at me. Hoping I'll take them into the bathroom and have my wicked way with them. Instead I just open their boxes and remove the leaflets and then put the leaflets back in the boxes and close them up and put them back on the table.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Nothing happening. Except that I'm getting sick. Now in addition to feeling tired, I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I hate sneezing all the damn time. I hate having a drippy nose. I hate my slightly scratchy throat.

The progesterone is doing its job. I usually begin spotting by 9dpo and bleeding by 11 dpo and there's none of that here.

I didn't want to poas before the beta until I found out that I don't get one until next monday (can you effing believe that?) and so I figured I'd test at some point. But I don't want to do the whole "did I test too early?" thing either, so for now at least, no peeing on anything.

Can it be next week now, please?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Turns out that this post is about PIO. And naps.

I feel like I should have something to say, but I'm not sure what.

I'm tired again. I woke up this morning ready for a nap. I wanted a nap all day long but didn't get one. I'm still thinking about it. Is this a progesterone thing? Because I'm already blaming stuff on it. I don't know if I'm hungry or if I just want to be eating, but you don't want to be a grilled cheese sandwich in my house. Also, I know where they say the progesterone goes, (boobs) but the oil part has made its way to my face. I've got wintery dry legs and an oil slick on my face and I'm feeling puffy again. And I had a bloody nose last night. And heartburn. This could be the most attractive I've ever felt.

Speaking of PIO, I meant to comment on that before. I was not feeling very brave about the PIO. Or giving up my control over the injections and allowing P to administer the PIO. His practice run with a grapefruit did not make me feel any better. He jabbed at it in a swift, super-scary, dart-like motion. (Just as instructed.) I was glad that big fucking needle was going somewhere that I wouldn't be able to watch.

Then came the first day. I gathered up the required supplies without actually looking at the drawing-up needle. I warmed the oil and passed it along to P. I had him show me his target spot and I iced that area. (Some people say not to ice, but I did because it made me feel better. Plus, I only do it for as long as it takes P to draw up the oil so it really just does the surface.) I hid my face on a pillow and remembered to make sure the muscle was relaxed and I kept my breathing normal. It hurt, but I did not yell. I did not cry. I did whine a little and command him to rub it when he was through, but that was really (mostly) for show.

It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. It's been eightish days and I think he's gotten better each day. It doesn't feel good, but it's not exactly torture either (not that I'm telling him that.) The first two days the soreness really lasted all day long. Now I have sore spots on each cheek, but I'm thinkin' there's no way around that.

Is it bedtime yet? Almost? Because I'm daydreaming about my pillow and blanket and a kitty or two. And my embryos.