Monday, January 23, 2012


My beta today came back negative.  I knew it would, given what I've been physically experiencing - but there was still that part of me that hoped for a miracle, given that I was sure that I was having a miscarriage when I learned I was pregnant with Smiley. 

I left work early today and plan to keep it light tomorrow.  Given this is a very early loss, the cramping is moderate but not severe (I've had worse during other losses that were farther along) but I think I have earned the chance to relax a little and regroup, and will then move on to figure out next steps.  I drove to a 7-Eleven on my way home and picked up a big gulp of diet coke, and we have our take out sushi menu ready to go for tonight's dinner. 

I am grateful that this was not dragged out like it has been in the past - one, two, or 3 weeks of pregnancy and then an ultrasound that reveals no heart beat - or spontaneous bleeding that sends me to the ER in a panic.  It was barely 24 hours of being semi-hopeful, but wary of a low beta.  Still an extremely sad and disappointing turn of events, but given my track record, not a surprise.  It still hurts, and I never get used to the disappointment.

On that note, I am going to give my sweet daughter a huge squeeze, and will likely not let her go until I put her to bed tonight.  I have much more than so many in this community have, and I don't take that lightly.  Hopefully once this pain subsides, we will be ready to decide on a next step, but for now, it's time to heal.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

From hope to disappointment in less than 24 hours

Friday was definitely a nail biter of a day for me.  I was up at 5:30am to head into DC for my beta, had it drawn by 7:00am and was at work by 8:00am.  That made for a very long wait.  I didn't have much going on at work until 1pm - I had one meeting at 10:00am and I realized during that meeting that I was shivering from nerves so badly that my teeth were chattering.  I hoped that no one noticed and did my best to take deep breaths and try to control my nerves, but it was a very difficult task, and I pretty much shivered in the conference room for 45 minutes. 

By 12:30 I was starting to get really anxious, at 1pm I had to drive to a lunch appointment with my boss, and I really did not want to have to answer that phone call while he was in the car.  I called my RE's office and they didn't have the results yet, they would call between 1pm and 2pm.  Lucky me.

At 1:15 I got the call, as expected, with my boss in the car. I tried to maintain a very neutral tone to my voice, when the nurse (unfortunately not my usual nurse, she was off on Friday) said, "congratulations, your test came back positive."  In a pleased yet controlled voice I said that was wonderful, and to share the details.  She said my beta was 25, not as high as they'd like, so they want me to come in on Monday for beta #2.  I asked if she's seen people with betas that low have successful situations, she said, "sometimes."  So now I had to go into a lunch meeting with 3 physicians, and pretend that I wasn't out of my mind nervous.  Did I have a late implantor?

Unfortunately, yesterday afternoon I started spotting, and throughout the day, the spotting turned into a regular flow.  I called my nurse and asked if it was possible to come in this morning for a blood draw, but she said that there were no procedures scheduled for today, so they weren't going to be in the office.  I'll have to wait until Monday.  I am pretty sure this is the end of the road for this cycle, even though I had a lot of bleeding with Smiley during my first trimester, the subchorionic hemorage showed itself after the embryo already had a sac and fetal pole - my beta was in the 10,000's by then.  I bet that tomorrow, my beta will be down to zero.

My mother in law was here this weekend and I did not make for good company.  I spent most of the weekend in my room - I tried to make it out with R, Smiley and my MIL for dinner, but I ended up feeling really lousy, and had my dad take me home. 

I guess we now really need to decide what our next step will be.  If I was 100% sure that this was all an egg quality issue, I would want to start the DE process tomorrow.  But there is still a nagging voice in my head that is telling me that it could be something that they still haven't idendified that causes me to miscarry, and DE is not the silver bullet answer, in that instance.  Maybe adoption is the best answer for us?  I just don't know.  All I do know is as soon as I know that my beta is dropping, I will be opening a bottle of wine.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Eleventh Hour

I have my beta tomorrow, and it can't come soon enough.  I have been a bit of a mess these last two weeks, I'm not really sure why.  You'd think that after having gone through 6 previous IVF cycles, I'd be used to this wait by now, and should be able to breeze through it.  Somehow, I breezed through the cycle itself, but once the transfer had come and gone, my anxiety about the outcome of the cycle went into overdrive. 

My overall feelings about the cycle are pretty negative.  I think about the quality of my embryos and know that they were not great.  I did not ask my RE what he thought the chance of success was, but my nurse assured me that she sees people come in with embroys much worse than mine, who end up having success.  It's hard to be hopeful when your embryos aren't stellar.

I am comforted by the fact that I will know either way very soon, and I can move on.  I am not really sure what moving on will mean - but I'm pretty sure this is it for my eggs.  Do we move on to DE?  Do we explore adoption? Do we do nothing?  I think about my super small family, and I feel so sad for Smiley.  My brother is a poor excuse for an uncle and if he stays out of jail or alive long enough to really make an impact on her life, it will be a surprise.  My father's heatlh isn't great, so who knows how much longer he has, realistically.  That leave's my MIL.  No cousins for Smiley, no other aunts and uncles.  I am very thankful for the extended family that we have, who do make an effort with us and include us in their lives, and of course, our wonderful friends who have truly become our family.  But I can't help but think that Smiley deserves to have a sibling to journey through life with.  I think I would feel differently if I knew she wouldn't some day be alone.

I have to get these negative thoughts out of my head - it hasn't helped that things with my dad and brother have been difficult lately, that extra added stress has been unnecessary.  Something else that I should just be used to by now, given that we've dealt with this for the past 9 and a half years since my mother died.

For now I will just keep myself as busy as possible until tomorrow morning.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The 2WW, how it magically slows time

I had so many intentions of blogging frequently throughout this last cycle. I am not sure why I didn't, I think I wanted to just take things day by day and blog about it after the fact.  I ended up beginning the suppression part of my cycle on December 17th, where I started a regimine of Cetrotide and Provera for a week.  Then I began my Follistim, Menapur, and Ganirelix on Christmas eve.  I had a very different type of experience cycling this time around.  Cooincidentally everything fell during the holidays, and I had decided a couple of months ago that I was going to take time off between Christmas and New Years.  This was the longest amount of time I had taken off in a year, since my ectopic last December.  From December 23rd until January 3rd I was on a blissful "staycation", which I thoroughly enjoyed.  My only inconvenience during this time was having to make my 7am monitoring appointments.  I live in the suburbs of Washington, DC, and my clinic is right in Downtown DC, so on my monitoring days, I would wake up at 5:30 so I could leave by 6:15, to make sure I could get a decent parking spot by 6:45.  Luckily, I was able to turn around and go back home after those appointments, as opposed to going into work, which was what I've done during previous cycles.  There was something about eliminating the work related stresses this time around, that made everything so much easier on me.  I spent so much quality time with Smiley, R, good friends and family during those 11 days, it made the injections and the monitoring appointments a piece of cake. I honestly think that the holidays themselves were more stressful than my cycle.

Things began to get interesting right after the New Year, right as I had to go back to work.  Wednesday 1/4 was my retrieval, and my transfer was Friday 1/6.  During my retrieval they were able to get 12 eggs, 10 that were mature.  Of those eggs, 6 fertilized, but only 5 normally.  My doctor decided that he wanted to do a 2 day transfer, because he believes that embryos ultimately do better in the womb (rather than in a dish) and I didn't have too many stellar ones to choose from.  There were really only 2 that were not fragmenting by day 2.  In the end, we transfered 4.  My doctor gave me the required speech about the risks of transfering so many, the possibility of multiples, but he understands that our track record dictates that it's not too likely that this will happen, that we'll be super lucky to get one out of this, and hopefully one that we won't miscarry.

And now, we wait.  I had my 24 hours of bedrest, and hope to stay as busy as possible over the next 2 weeks.  My birthday is next Monday, so there are lots of birthday related activites that will be starting next weekend, and will take me through beta day.  It is a true 2ww, given that my transfer was so early.

I always find that these 2 weeks go slower than any normal two week time frame.  It's like as soon as those embryos are transfered, some magical force slows time to almost a standstill, especially during those last few days before beta day.  I am not sure if I am going to break down and test this time around.  I tell myself to wait, and then ultimately I end up testing, but this time I really want to hold to it, so it doesn't ruin my birthday plans.  We will see what happens, it's all out of my hands, and I can only continue to be grateful for my beautiful girl.