Thursday, February 24, 2011

7w?d, 4d? I Dunno.

1. Thank you to all the ICLW visitors. I have been pushing myself to do this and I can't for the life of me figure out why blogging is suddenly the most scary thing in the world to me.

2. I'm scared to blog. I'm scared to comment and check other blogs. I've passed 3 out of 4 milestones (passed 3 out of 4 previous pregnancies) and the closer I get to #4 milestone (or if you'll remember, pregnancy #2) all I can do is remember when the "bad" stuff started and how it all went downhill from there. I was eating peaches 'n cream instant oatmeal this morning and I remembered I was eating that the morning I lost #2 at 9 weeks. I mostly remembered throwing it up in the ER. Tomorrow, based on the fetal pole measurement last Friday, I will be 7w5d. That was when the spotting started for pregnancy #2. Listen, I'm not trying to "hijack" this pregnancy. I don't want to doom it. I would like a goddam kid out of this for once. I am sick all the time and the Zofran has me so dang constipated that my insides are playing out every fight scene from every action movie I've ever seen. (I'm not complaining, please believe me.)

I have been quietly checking on everybody during this time and seeing some successes and I'm so thrilled for those ladies but there are also some heartbreaking losses and I'm so incredibly sad and angry about all of it. I'm honestly half-expecting myself to be back where I started instead of this pregnancy succeeding. Why shouldn't I feel this way? I don't know anything else but failure. Sure its not my fault, but still.

I don't get weekly ultrasounds because I have an HMO, which runs the entire medical practice I go to, who is a big dick and won't cover "unnecessary" things like a weekly u/s for a "habitual aborter". My local ob/gyn told me to call his OB nurses and tell them I'm spotting/cramping (none of which has or should be happening soon) and they'll get me in for an u/s and that way the insurance will pay for it. I told him I'll likely do that every other week. Um, I want it every week please. But I guess I have to be reasonable.

As for the prenatal care, that's the HMO again. Sure they cover it, but I have a huge deductible and the insurance calendar year is school-year based because DH works for a University. Thus, the deductible starts over in June. The medical provider wants payment for all doctors fees, exams, etc prior to the baby's birth. Thus they want me to start a payment plan for all this crap. Like I told 'em: I want to get out of the first trimester first please. And screw your payment plan which is as big as my student loan payment; I'll pay the invoice in full each month. Dicks.

Overall I refuse to get ahead of myself. Sure I g.oogle stuff every day like "embryo size 7w3d" or "belly pics 16 weeks" so I can get an idea of how big I might be for my step-sister's wedding if this baby sticks around that long.

I'm just too scared. Thankful but scared.

3. I'm dreading my step-sister's wedding. I'm sure she only asked me to be a bridesmaid because she was one for our wedding. She's forcing us to wear these ugly dresses and horrible matching shoes - because her wedding wouldn't be "perfect" if all the bridesmaids weren't wearing 2+ inch heels with a narrow front and open toes with teal nail polish on our toes (also required) and huge fake flowers in our hair. She's a freakin' bridezilla, I tell ya. I'm hoping she kicks me out of the wedding because our close friend is getting married on 4/2/11 and my step-sister just decided last weekend she wants her shower and bachelorette party to be on 4/2/11. Guess who's bachelorette party I'm skipping? Yeah I don't wanna go anyways. The bridesmaids are bitches. I hate the maid-of-honor, and I don't even like any of my step-sisters anymore. Stupid 4/23/11 wedding on Easter weekend. I don't wanna go. Did I mention I had to force her to write down her shower and bachelorette guest list last Saturday so we could then actually book a place for her shower and know how big of a bus to rent for the party? Yes she is demanding a bus. With coolers of beer in it. Demanding.

4. My belly is really bloated and buttoning/zipping my pants at work has become "optional". I'm glad I have an office with a door. I think the bloating is due to the following: heparin shot bruising = pain, constipation, gas, baby (?), laziness of sucking in my gut. It's all theory.

That is all.

For now.

I'll keep updating.

I promise.

Monday, February 21, 2011

ICLW February 2011 - Consider This Cherry Popped

First ICLW for me - I'm proud that I'm doing this, especially in the wake of some kind of sudden blogging depression/fear that I'm experiencing. So here is my story:

My husband and I got married on November 9th, 2007 and we started trying for a baby that night. Fast-foward five months to Pregnancy #1 in March 2008, lasting 12 hours and ending in a chemical pregnancy. We continued trying for another year using OPKs, timed intercourse and Pre-seed. That resulted in Pregnancy #2 in March 2009 but ended at 9 weeks in a sudden and traumatic miscarriage after many ultrasounds of a healthy pregnancy with a strong heartbeat each time and a healed sub-chorionic hemaetoma.

We began fertility treatment later that summer of 2009. Our doctor told us the day of our first IUI (w/ Clomid) that my husband's count (2 million motile post-wash) was too low and that we'd need IVF/ICSI, we were devastated. We'd known his count was low but not that low. That IUI failed. My husband did not want to do IVF so we continued with IUIs and he saw a Fertility Urologist who put him on 50 mg Clomid every other day. His count increased after three months and we concieved on our 3rd IUI but that ended up being ectopic and rupturing the day after Thanksgiving which resulted in emergency surgery for me but they saved my right tube. I switched doctors within the OB/GYN practice at that point as I wanted to get more aggressive with treatment. IUI #7 with injectables was another "winner" in April 2010 but after not seeing a fetal pole by 7 weeks it was deemed a blighted ovum. That was another surgery I had to endure.

We decided at that point that maybe IVF was the way to go. We had one bad visit with a local clinic and hated it so we kept doing IUIs while we were in limbo. I came across a Newsweek article about a clinic in St. Louis, Missouri called The Fertility Partnership where the cost was nearly 50% of most clinics and the doctor cared about the patients and their well-being, not becoming rich off the process. We decided to stop by the clinic on our way from Iowa to Arkansas for a cousin's wedding and we loved the look and the people. I had a phone consult with the doctor the day after my birthday and we scheduled a trip to the clinic for mid-October 2010. After a wonderful meeting with the doctor and his staff, we knew we were in. We did many more blood tests and I had a Laparascopic/Hysteroscopy with Tubal Dye Study and was diagnosed with Endometriosis Stage I-II but clear tubes.

We traveled back and forth from Iowa to St. Louis this January and completed our first IVF cycle (all out of pocket) and received many new diagnoses from the treatment. I apparently make terrible eggs (weak "shell") and possibly have a clotting disorder in addition to Natural Killer-type cells. Finally my AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) level is below a 2.0 and that shows Ovarian Dysfunction.

IVF #1 included 20 follicles, ICSI and Assisted Hatching, 4 embryos that made it to the 3 day transfer, 2 transferred embryos, no frozen embryos. Today, I am 7 weeks pregnant with a singleton whose heartbeat was confirmed on an ultrasound last Friday at 6 weeks 5 days. We are extremely hesitant to get too excited and are taking this day by day, but obviously we are beyond thankful to be expecting and hope so much that we have a take-home baby in October 2011.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Call Me Dr. Frankenstein...

...because, IT'S ALIVE!!!!!

Measuring a day ahead at 6w5d, 7.1 mm, heart rate of 131 bpm.

I cried. DH said that there's no crying in baseball.

We were then hugged, congratulated, and then ushered to the patient accounts office where they nearly stopped my heart with the total cost of prenatal care (which must be set up an a payment plan, apparently).

I told them to shove it till we make it out of the first trimester. For once.

Can you believe it? I barely could.

I get another u/s in a couple of weeks - though the doc said I'll have to say I'm spotting and worried so that insurance covers it.

Still very sick, got a Zofran Rx. If this gets worse I'm in for a doozy.

Thanks for the well wishes and while we're still holding our breaths, we got to exhale a little today.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Sorry that its been a few days. I'm just so nervous to do daily posts because they'll all say the same thing:

I'm happy and thankful each and every moment that I'm pregnant.
I'm sick as a dog (morning sickness), throw up/dry heave all day.
I'm terrified that I'm not getting a take-home baby.

I hate to be redundant so I'll sum it up in those three items.

Next ultrasound is this Friday at 10:30 am - with my local doctor. We should hear/see a heartbeat because I'll be 6w4d with an embryo that might still be measuring a day ahead. We'll see I guess.

Funny: when I called the local office to set up the u/s, I reached Old-Lady-Nurse in the Fertility Department who knows NOTHING about IVF or for that matter, most fertility treatment. All past conversations with her have been infuriating. She specifically asked when my transfer was. I told her it was on 1/20. I added that the retrieval was on 1/17 and that I had a Day-3 transfer. She said that on Friday I'll be barely 6 weeks. I tried to correct her. She said I was wrong. Way to use the transfer date as the "ovulation" date. Why are you in the OB/GYN's infertility department?

Anyways, here's a picture of last Saturday's ultrasound:

The fetal pole is at the top of the yolk sac, looks like a long, skinny "x".
Was measuring 3.1 mm.

We didn't see anything other than a yolk sac with the blighted ovum last May. So we're beating the last pregnancy, yay us I guess. I didn't realize till Saturday that this is only the second actual "baby" we've seen on an ultrasound in five pregnancies. I hope its still there in 2 days with a beating heart. I don't know what I'll do if this goes badly.....

I'll catch up on my commenting soon, I'm just really holding my breath till Friday.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

All Has Been Revealed

One gestational sac. One yolk sac. And one amazing fetal pole. Measuring one day ahead at 5w6d. Sooo close to seeing the heartbeat. So happy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

U/S #1 Tomorrow Morning....What Oh What Will We See?

I'm so terrified that tomorrow won't go well. We're going all the way back down to St. Louis (staying 2 nights at DH's insistence) for this ultrasound after only two betas (I'm used to 4 betas) and I'm so scared that we'll get the rug pulled out from under us like last year (pregnancy #4).

I had a dream last night that we were doing the ultrasound with Dr. S and there were two gestational sacks, two yolk sacs and two fetal poles. I was so happy. Then I woke up. You know I've been checking TP every time I go to the bathroom? Every time I've been pregnant something has happened - so I keep an eye out for a repeat occurrence of something bad from previous pregnancies. I don't want to be caught off guard again. At least not for a fifth time.

So today, at 5w4d I will enjoy this pregnancy for everything that it is and just hope that tomorrow goes smoothly.

Did I mention that I've felt sick for the past week? Quite nauseous. I'm a Saltines girl and they've been my best friends for the past 7-8 days. I haven't thrown up yet because I'm still in the stage where I can hold it in. I remember in pregnancy #2 by the time I got to 7 1/2, 8 weeks I couldn't keep it in anymore and was throwing up a lot.

I'll be 6 weeks on Monday and I wonder how much longer I'll make it without full-on bonding with the porcelain queen? Car rides are the worst - we have a 40 minute commute each way for work so that's hard enough. Can you imagine a 5 hour car ride like that? I'll bring some bags with me I guess. And snacks. Lots of snacks. I know morning sickness is a good sign, but I had it last spring and still had a blighted ovum so I'm not going to get too hung up on the odds that getting sick means healthy baby. But it came on so quickly and has progressed so fast that I'm wondering if this "version" of m/s is a good sign. I guess we just won't know for awhile.

I thought I'd amuse you with some funny stuff, since its been a while. We could call it Friday FAILs but I can't promise consistency:

So being pregnant with a "human" baby and feeling sick
because of it makes me feel like what?
Should I not feel human right now?

Or "Drizzle". Terrible name for a baby. Sorry Finn.

I'll probably be saying this in a few weeks, especially if its twins.
It'll bug the hell out of my husband.

*Question: Is it bad that I got my husband's V-Day card
at the Dollar Tree? It's super-cute!

My cats do this kind of stuff too, but behind things like
my shoes, or the leg of a chair.

Mmmm. I bed my cats would love some Cat'sHit.

I'm not a dog person but even I feel bad for the guy.
Cats are bitches and they get sh*t done.
Thats why they get to sleep where they want to I guess.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life Feels Like A Bunch Of Constant "Countdowns" These Days

2 days. 21 hours. 58 minutes. That's how long (right now) I have to wait till our first ultrasound. I've passed Milestone #1 and on Saturday will have reached Milestone #2. Its all I can seem to think about. We're basically convinced we're having twins - way to put the big fat cart in front of the horse, right? See, we can't see us affording IVF again after even one baby, so I guess selfishly we're hoping for twins so we can complete our family. I can't possibly be the only infertile whose thought this way though, right?

I have to let you all know that I stumbled across this blog today: I Want To Be A Daddy, written by Alec. He recently started the blog and is taking us through their journey one step at a time and I find his writing so helpful as it gives the husband's perspective of an infertile life with losses and heartbreak. I highly recommend you take a look!

In other news, I received my prize from LisaB's giveaway she had on her blog The Pursuit of Pregnancy!

As soon as I saw the package in my mailbox I knew that was it so I tore it open and spent the rest of the night pouring over it - lots of info, for sure. I even showed DH some pictures and while he was pretty grossed out, this whole IF experience has made the female reproductive system much less of an "ick-factor" for him to look at. Thanks for the book, Lisa!

In work news, I've been working on trial prep for case and it's gotten pretty intense. Basically we hate the opposing attorney and she's making everything we do a hassle and a headache. I can't wait till the judge hears about it and throws the book at her. Small-town Iowa, you'd think that we wouldn't have to deal with the schenanigans of big-city lawyers, but apparently we do.

Overall I'm just trying to make it through each day, worried all the time that something bad will happen. Will we have a sudden miscarriage like pregnancy #2? A blighted ovum (or two?) like pregnancy #4? DH wants me to switch to suppositories because he hates giving me the shots (it takes me a 1/2 hour to get myself psyched up for the PIO every night, it's sad) and said he will be begging Dr. S to have me switch over to suppositories as soon as possible.

I don't feel comfortable quitting the shots that early though because I feel like its working and it cancels out a possible progesterone issue if I'm getting so much now. My levels haven't even been tested and I don't want to worry about anything happening if I go off them too soon. Dr. S will give us his advice and I trust him. But I'm scared not to do PIO till at least 8 weeks. Can anyone give me some advice?

Finally I want to send a shout out to all you supporters out there leaving me comments, thoughts and overall encouragement. It makes me feel really good to know there are people out there rooting for us. So thank you again! Soon I will be able to blog about things other than pregnancy, I'm just on edge because of four prior losses. I'm sure you can understand and sadly, some of you can relate.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Beta #2 *Updated with graph

16dp3dt: 1226 mlU/ml!

Doubling time of 35.5 hours.

Dr. S said no more betas, next step: ultrasound #1!

Either I'm havin' twins or an overachieving singleton.

Ultrasound next Saturday, 2/12/11 in St. Louis at 7:30 am. Deep breaths, people.

Friday, February 4, 2011

4w4d/15dp3dt - What A Beta Day

Whew! Yesterday was nutz! Work was crazy, I barely got to eat anything till dinner, and I was up before 5am.

Today is a different story. I finally know that I am pregnant, the number seems to rule out ectopic or a CP (so far), and I'm just so ready to move forward and make it past all my other pregnancy "dates".

If you are not an RPL victim like I am - and I say victim because I didn't do anything wrong - then you always keep track of when the pregnancies ended. Here are my dates/milestones for me to get past for this pregnancy:

4w5d - Pregnancy #1 which was a chemical, ended at midnight at four weeks five days.
5w4d - Pregnancy #3 which was ectopic, ended on this day due to rupture and I had emergency surgery.
7w0d - Pregnancy #4 which was a blighted ovum, ended with a D&C. Might've been 6w5d but what's the difference?
9w0d - Pregnancy #2 which was a sudden loss after seeing the heartbeat consisistently for 3 weeks. Awful.

Once I get to Sunday, I will have reached Milestone #1. It will likely be the easiest of the four. Making it past Milestone #4 doesn't guarantee us anything, but I will surely breathe quite the sigh of relief.


Question: does anyone know what the hell happened to's beta graph capabilities? I tried yesterday to make one on their site and it would not work at all!  I just wanted to see the progression and whether yesterday's beta of 471 mlU/ml was near the twins range. Here's one I made myself based on last year's pregnancy's chart that I saved. Because I'm nuts:

I figure there's still a shot of having twins. At least I'm not below the "average" line. I feel good so far.

But only so far. :)


Last but not least, I'm finally doing my first ICLW this month! I hope it goes well. I feel like such a an IF virgin when it comes to this stuff! 2010 was my first Creme, now I'm doing ICLW. What's next?


I have just gotten back into Grey's Anatomy recently after quitting the show during the whole ferry disaster in season 3 or whatever. I want to rant a little here as an IF-er (SPOILER ALERT, LAST NIGHT'S EPISODE):
Calliope is pregnant, maybe 5-6 weeks along. She bugs an MFM/OB/GYN for an ultrasound, everything's fine but she's told it's too early to hear a heartbeat. Drama drama drama.....later this doctor tells her that you can't even hear/see a heartbeat till "at least 8 weeks".
WTF?!?!?! Lies. All lies I tell you. First the "hostile uterus" crap by Meredith and now incorrect info as to heartbeats and ultrasounds? There was a scene where Mark (baby daddy) went to McDreamy and dropped the pregnancy bomb and asked for advice. I loved this: Shepherd said that he and Meredith have been trying for months with no luck and Mark looks at a chick and she's knocked up. You should have seen Shepherd's face when he got the news. Nice to see a man's reaction for once to a preggo announcement.

Still though. 8 weeks!?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

14dp3dt - Has Your IVF Doctor Called You Lately?

I have so much to say that I can't even organize it into a coherent thought!

First of all, beta results.


The husband and I are thrilled with this result! Last year, with the doomed blighted ovum pregnancy, the level at 17dpo (today) was only 136 mIU/ml. I think we're doing much better than that, don't you? Beta #2 is this Saturday with u/s #1 tentatively scheduled for next Saturday, 2/12.

I have to say this and I hope that someone googles my blog or my clinic and sees this:

Fertility Partnership is the best IVF clinic EVER!!!!!!

My doctor called me last night because he'd read my post about the PIO info I'd been given by someone at the clinic. I don't know if you saw this, but he actually commented on that post:

"As Medical Director of Fertility Partnership I would like to say that PIO can not cause a false positive hcg. I would like to know what individual on our staff actually said that to you so that they may be reeducated.

The LH/HCG trigger can give false positives if testing is done very early. We draw the test on the day we do for number of reasons that I will share with you when you come in.

Having said that ......Congratulations.!!!"

February 1, 2011 8:51 PM

When I read that comment my heart dropped. I thought I'd gotten someone in trouble, that they were mad at me, that I'd upset someone, etc. I felt so incredibly bad. But then I remembered why I have this blog: to share, to vent, to document. I re-read my post and realized that I was simply venting and hadn't mentioned this person's name or anything. I am spoiled by my local clinic for early betas because I'm sure they give in due to being sick of hearing me call them all the time! I should have waited and been happy that I wasn't in beta hell all week. But I still felt bad. I didn't even know that my doctor was the one who had commented!

So when he called me last night, he wanted to straighten out the confusion about the PIO shots. He clarified that this was not true, just as he'd said in his post and we talked about why they do betas at 14dp3dt (to have a way to track results across the board, on the same day). He answered all my questions, we shared jokes and he said that he'd seen my pictures and that I was definitely pregnant. He was so congratulatory and helpful and all I almost cried because while I almost felt like I got caught with my hand in the cookie jar, I was so happy that he is such an honest and upfront man who would take time out of his evening just to call me about something like this.

I have had many doctors in my lifetime. None have EVER shown me the care and respect that Dr. Simckes has and I'm beyond grateful for that. His care has been above and beyond that of any physician (or even dentists) that I have come into contact with. If I wasn't "in the closet" about our infertility, I would come "out" online and in public today to proclaim how proud and honored I am to have him as my RE. I wish that I lived closer so he could be my all-time OB/GYN and deliver my baby/babies. I'll tell you what though, if I can get through the first trimester, even past viability: I'm having an official coming out on Facebook. I can't wait to tell others about all of this and to advise anyone who will listen that you don't need to spend $24,000 at the clinic closest to you for a 3 fresh + 3 frozen cycle plan that doesn't include monitoring or labs. You don't have to pay a fee for asking to do local monitoring since you only live an hour away from that expensive clinic. You shouldn't be told you will only be allowed to transfer one embryo, even if you fight for two.

We were involved in every single step of our treatment. I asked questions, I questioned answers, and everything that was happening to me was explained and I was comforted. I got hugs and high fives. I walked out of each appointment knowing that the FP staff cared about me and our future babies.

Our decision to drive back and forth to St. Louis from Northeastern Iowa for this IVF treatment was one of the best we've ever made and we are both elated that thanks to Dr. Simckes and his staff at Fertility Partnership, we are, according to him, "Royally pregnant!!!!"

By the way, he called me HIMSELF to deliver my beta results and discuss where we go from here. Are you kidding me?!?!? Sure, a call from one of their awesome nurses would have sufficed, but he called me himself. How cool is he!?

So congrats to me, congrats to my husband, and congrats to the Fertility Partnership for (so far) another success story!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


No, you're not crazy. The test line is stealing dye from the control line.

I can't believe beta #1 is tomorrow.


I was home for an unintended snow day today because we were literally snowed in and couldn't use our vehicle. I guess I'm working on Saturday.

13 hours and 43 minutes.

Holy beta folks, I wonder what it's gonna be?!?!?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

12dp3dt/15dpo - Lets Talk About My Gay Cats

HPT madness at the bottom if you're interested. Right now, I'd like to have a discussion about feline homosexuality.

I have three cats. Two are male. One is female (but still a kitten). Our two male cats are super-gay. If they would let me put collars on them, they would each have rainbow collars with tons of bells. I support my gay cats but I discourage them when their intimacy makes me uncomfortable. For example: Milo (gray cat) began a little foreplay with Jack (black and white cat) the other day which turned into a full on porno in about 5 minutes. It was pretty disturbing. Jack makes some interesting noises.

So I got out my phone camera and videotaped it. 'Cause I'm gross I guess. But I kept laughing.

Jack is like my best girlfriend. He loves my hair and wants to play with it all the time. He's hugely dramatic and picky and a bit dainty. He's a huge queen. I think he sometimes questions his sexuality because he will occasionally cuddle with little Bella. But Milo always brings him back and I find them making out somewhere.

Here are some pictures of my gay, gay cats.

I kept the pictures clean. But I've got a stash of gay cat porn if you're interested. I wonder if Bella will turn lez? At least I know she won't be getting bugged by the boys. Did I mention the lovely couple is neutered? I think the vet missed a nut or two.


Thanks for all the support yesterday. I felt like I was crazy after that phone call but now I know that it's all bullshit. I'll definitely be bringing that to Dr. Simckes' attention next time I talk to him.

Below is a picture of last night's FRER addition. I'm only using them at night now. It's still a bit of crack to me I suppose. I also use ICs and $tree tests. The $tree tests are fun because they keep getting darker and darker. I think I've maxed out the FRERs and Answer tests. The dye is starting to make the test line darker now.

Symptoms: heartburn, cramping, motion sickness (if I'm hungry and in a car, I will feel sick), sore boobs, constant hunger, tired all.the.time. I just did a boob check. Yep. Still sore. I know its probably the PIO causing it but still, it is a welcome but painful symptom.

I'm impatiently counting the hours till Beta #1 - do you have any guesses as to what my 14dp3dt/17dpo beta will be with 2 transferred embryos and a super-early BFP with a digital at 6dp3dt? I have no clue. I'm shooting for 500+. The median beta at 17dpo on is 580 for twins. Singleton beta for 17dpo is 285 but I'd be surprised if it was below 500. Honestly. The FRERs have been dark since 9dp3dt.

We'll see I suppose.  In the meantime, I'll keep on keepin' on. And trying to survive the blizzard heading our way!


I Can't Control Everything | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL