Monday, December 19, 2011

Super-wrong drama llama!

I can't possibly find words to sufficiently describe the intensity of the past week, but I will try...

In my last post, I was going through the awful roller coaster of emotions between wanting to feel hopeful while fighting the sense of dread that this cycle was a bust... spurred largely by some serious cramping on and off, with the worst of it being on Monday, 12/12. By that afternoon, I thought I might lose my marbles entirely, so after deliberating with Justin, I emailed Susan (our RE nurse at UCSF) to let her know that we would be testing at home the next morning since I was sure it would be negative and I wanted to get it over with. She requested that I get blood work done instead of using a home test, because the beta numbers are more telling, so we made an appointment at the lab for Wednesday.

The morning started out rocky because Justin had apparently forgotten where the lab was (weird, since he drove me there twice before) and I was nervous and therefore moody. But, we made it, joked around a little with each other to ease the tension, and in a few minutes, it was done. How exactly I was supposed to be productive for the next several hours at work is anyone's guess (I wasn't.) I watched and watched my phone to see if the call had come in with the results. And at around 2:30, I saw that she had called and left a voicemail. Thus beginning 4 hours of torture until Justin could meet me at home to listen to it together.

Finally, the moment had arrived, and I was feeling so pessimistic (probably a self-preservation technique), but secretly hoping for the best. As soon as I heard her voice over the speakerphone, I thought she sounded happy, but then immediately scolded myself for thinking so. However, much to my surprise, she said the magic words, "your test came back positive!" Our beta was 66 and she wanted it to be at least 50, so she was cautiously optimistic. We cried, we laughed, we high-fived.


Now the fun begins... We made the obligatory phone calls to family, which was a little strange since I barely believed the news myself. I had a second beta drawn and it more than tripled to 218 in 48 hours, and our first ultrasound is already scheduled for January 3rd. Don't I feel silly for being so sure that the worst was going to happen! Susan has a nickname for me: "Oh ye of little faith."

Like clockwork, my brain has kicked in and I've been worrying about all of the logistics and the what-ifs. It makes it tough to sleep at night when the thoughts are coming a mile a minute starting the second my head hits the pillow, but I am training myself to continue to take this one day at a time, just like the IVF process itself. Today, I am SO happy. I will try to stay focused on that and taking extra-special care of myself, since that is what is important in the here and now.

So, what do you think: one or two?  ;)

Friday, December 9, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

I seriously need to get OFF this rollercoaster! To recap:

Monday, I felt great. Really optimistic and hopeful that this had worked. Paradise

Tuesday, black cloud over my head, thinking the worst. Storm

Wednesday and Thursday, back to the sunny side! Paradise

Today, blackest cloud ever. Storm

I was very crampy overnight (more so then I had been, anyway) and it started to feel the same as the end of all my other cycles. I even cried when my acu asked me how I was feeling, because I had to be honest with her. Justin is worried too because he knows how this is affecting me and he would hate to have to go through this again. I know that the cramping could mean nothing or everything, and there's no way to know yet (and I sure as hell am not going to test at 7dp3dt and get ambiguous results) what the outcome will be, but I am exhausted. Maybe I just feel this way because the trigger has worn off? Who knows? I NEED to stop dwelling, but that's practically impossible!

I hope I'm just being totally ridiculous and feel like a million bucks again tomorrow. Ugh. Longest. 2ww. EVER!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

OJB Update (That's Operation Jellybean, for those who are keeping score)

Well, it has been a few days since my transfer, and the emotions are running high. On Monday, I was on cloud nine, thinking I just "knew" this had worked! Tuesday, notsomuch. Today, I am straddling the fence ... though if I'm being completely honest and dare to think this, I'm still leaning towards it working, yay!

All-in-all, the ET went very smoothly, and our luck has just been remarkable so far. When we arrived at UCSF Friday morning, I had already gone to acupunture (the first of two visits with her that day) and taken a 10mg valium, so I was feeling more than fine! I got into my sexy hospital gown yet again and slipped on my bold, stripey green socks for luck, and we waited nervously to get the show on the road. At last, a nurse says, "oh, the doctor wants to talk to you first. It's good news!" Um, ok. We like good stuff. Dr. Fujimoto (who I admittedly was not crazy about when I saw him once during the IUI days, I may have misjudged) brought us into the room with the embryologist and explained that ALL 14 of our embryos were of the highest grade, so we had a decision to make: take the best-looking 2 and transfer them that day as planned and see how many of the others make it to blastocyst stage for freezing, or grow them all out to blast and choose the best 1 or 2 on day 5 from the crop that survive. Once he explained that there is always a slim chance that they all arrest and we end up with nothing, we knew we would be transferring that day. The only thing we knew with certainty was that these two gorgeous 8 and 9-cell embies were ready and waiting, so we went for it. By day 5, 2 more were frozen and 4 more even made it to day 6!

I have moments where I second-guess not waiting to see which made it to blast and choosing from them, since they have a higher likelihood of implanting successfully. But then I remember that we didn't know for sure that we would have ANY that made it that far. The fact that we lost half of them remaining twelve might seem like a negative, but to me, that means the two they put back have a 50-50 chance each! No, that's not really how it works, but I'm going to let myself think that for now.  :)

I have been crampy off and on, and staying hydrated seems to help - though if I have to pee any more often, I might just take up residence in the bathroom! Otherwise, my only discomfort is soreness from the progesterone injections. Justin is being such a trooper with those, by the way. I can't imagine having to stab someone I love with a 1 and 1/2 inch needle on a nightly basis, sometimes leading to bloodshed and/or bruising. I SWEAR, it really doesn't hurt though!

I still have a full week before I test. Justin and I decided that we'll take a HPT on Thursday morning 12/15 and use my scheduled beta bloodwork on Friday as confirmation of the results, and to monitor my HCG levels. My goal this week is to be more distracted by all of the Christmas stuff I've been slacking on instead of the outcome of my IVF cycle. Let's see how well that works!

And without further ado, here are our potential babies. When I handed Justin this photo, he immediately got weepy and said his paternal instincts kicked in and he just wanted to make sure nothing bad happened to them.  *tear*

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Operation Jellybean

Back in NYC, when Justin and I were first dating, our friends tried to come up with a nickname for us, since we were practically inseparable. First, we were The Kennedys, because apparently being in marketing and banking made us the power couple of the group (ok?)... but it was decided that was too tragic. A few suggestions were batted about that evening at Moe's (our beloved neighborhood bar, where we first met and spent many a night with our fascinating circle of friends), but one stuck. Just like Bennifer and Brangelina, our names would be smooshed together to create... Jelly. It was instantly ridiculous and fantastic. We would enter a room or one particular backyard BBQ to the resounding shouts of "Jelly!" Our friends are insane.

So, Operation Jellybean is well underway! After having 6 or 7 mature-looking follies on Sunday, plus 9 others that were in a much smaller "cohort", it was decided that we would trigger that night for retrieval on Tuesday! Given those numbers, I can only expect maybe 6 to be mature and go on to fertilize, and I'm totally comfortable with that result. Working on Monday was complete misery. Heck, WALKING was like a mild form of torture because my ovaries felt like two tennis balls in my gut. I was soooo looking forward to getting these eggs OUT. Of course, I couldn't sleep on Sunday or Monday because of the nerves and anticipation, but on Tuesday morning, I was ready to roll.

When we got to UCSF, we were greeted in the waiting room by Angela, the nurse who was so fond of us for being silly during her IVF injection training class while the rest of the class sat there stone-faced. It's amazing how comforting a familiar face can be! She started my IV (joy) and got me in a gown and before I knew it, I was being whisked away to the procedure room. A minute later, that warm and fuzzy drug haze descended upon me, and the last thing I remember saying was, "oh man, that feels greeeeaaaaat!" Next thing I know, I'm lying in a recovery bed and Angela is bringing Justin to see me. It was done! First words out of my mouth were, "how many did we get?" She told me to look at my hand, and on it was written the number 16 in purple sharpie (which still won't come off, by the way)! NO WAY! THAT'S FREAKIN' AWESOME! Mind you, we have to wait until the next day to find out how many are mature (remember, I'm expecting maybe 6), and then how many actually fertilize, but I was pleased. Around 3:30 the next day, as I convalesced on the couch, I got the call telling me that 14 of the 16 were mature and ALL 14 fertilized! Utter disbelief. Can we really be this lucky? Yes. Yes, we can.

And as I wait to have 2 of the best-looking embryos transferred back in tomorrow morning, a few words for our jellybeans a.k.a. potential children...

Dear embies,

I hope you're doing well in your petri dishes! Daddy and I love you already, if you can imagine that, and we really want to meet one or two of you in about nine months, and then another one of you in a couple of years. The rest of you will be donated to nice families who can't make embies of their own, so I want you all to be strong and multiply! I'll get to see two of you tomorrow and I am so excited! I hope you're excited too.

With much love,

Your Mommie-to-Be