Double Digits

**Trigger Warning ** This is just a quick boring update on Lucky and the renovation but please take care if you feel like  this isn’t something you’d like to hear about. ❤

We’re currently 92 days from our due date. I was going to post this on 99 days but… life. I saw on a December babies forum someone was 100 days so I did a quick calculation and realized we were on 100 as well and had a tiny little panic attack because we are nowhere near done with our reno and time is clearly running out.

We’ve been lackadaisical the past few weeks because the deadline seemed far off but now we’re realising that time may not be on our side so when we were just working on weekends we’re going to have to pull some weekday shifts as well. In theory we don’t have much to do so we’ve made a schedule, here’s hoping we can stick to it.

Our house is teeny tiny and old, as I’ve mentioned, and our reno consists of us creating a master bedroom and ensuite bathroom out of a shell of an attic. We installed a dormer up there to increase space but right now the entire room is gutted except for the walls for the bathroom and mini built in closet.

We’ve started the wiring but we need to finish it and have the inspector come check it out. After that it’ll be putting in insulation. Then we have to do the walls and ceiling then fully finish the wiring with the outlets and lights etc. At some point the inspector has to come check again. After that we’ll mud and paint the walls and ceiling and see about trim. Maybe we won’t need it. Then lastly we’ll install the wood floors. While this is happening the plumber has to come and fix a few pipes. Once he’s done we’ll move into the bathroom. I’m not too worried about this since we have a working one downstairs but it would pretty awesome to get it done before my parents come.

When you write it down it seem quick quick but let’s see how it goes. If we can get done by November life will be good. I hope to be of some use during that time.

 

Scroll a bit for baby news if you’re interested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything that’s been going on is completely different to what I expected. I’ve been extremely lucky to have a very smooth 2nd trimester. Yes there’s heartburn and yes I’m struggling to sleep some nights but the heartburn is something I’ve struggled with all my life it seems and the sleeping is not that bad yet. I find I’ll a bad night every second night and the good nights I’m so exhausted I fall right asleep as my head hits the pillow and that amounts to feeling well rested the next day. I’m told it does get worse though so I’m not resting on my laurels.

I have officially stopped wearing underwire bras. I don’t know why I was suffering for so long. I should have stopped ages ago. My pants still fit but I have a feeling that won’t be for much longer based on my struggle this morning in the bathroom.

I will say that things are getting a bit uncomfortable and I find that I can’t sit in one position for very long. This is making the commute home a little challenging. Right now my car seat is positioned completely straight up but it’s still not the best. I tend to move it back and forth a few times while driving. That coupled with leaning to my left then right every 15 minutes is just how I live now. If anyone has tips on what’s a comfortable position to drive in, please help. Should I be getting an exercise ball for work do you think? My job is quite sedentary so I have to remind myself to go for a walk at least twice a day or it just starts to ache all over and it feels like I’ve been doing crazy ab workouts all day.

As for little Lucky. He seems to be pretty happy in there. I did start to feel what I believe are hiccups and it absolutely is my favourite right now. I can see the kicks from the outside but N has yet to see it. He’s felt a few kicks but Lucky gets shy when you put your hand where he’s kicking. I can’t wait to tell which body part is doing the kicking. Sometimes I do worry if he’s kicking for fun or because he wants me to move because he’s uncomfortable. I think that’s part of why I keep changing positions too. It’s probably silly but I worry if I’m squishing him of it there’s an arm or a leg trapped somewhere.

We haven’t had many appointments with our OB. Going to see her again early October, after which we’ll move to bi-weekly appointments. I’m not sure if there’ll be anymore scans though.

But we’ve seen our doula quite a bit. She teaches a gentle birth class which uses hypnobirthing techniques. We finished that course last week and it was pretty cool. They also have a mobile app with mindfulness, affirmation and hypnosis tracks that we have to listen to. We have to save our favourite ones to use during labour. We’re slowly working our way through the list. Slowly. We listen to the hypnosis at night and I listen to the others during the day when I can. The hypnosis isn’t that easy to get into. I’m too in my head I think. That, and the lady has an Irish accent and she says the word “calm” strangely and it sends N and I into a fit of giggles every time. But we’ll keep trying.

The doula also has bi-weekly prenatal group classes with all of her and her team’s clients. It’s nice to get to interact with other couples and talk about some fears. It’s been going well. I’m glad we chose her.

I am having a bit of trouble. I feel like I know which way I’m going to go but maybe you could weigh and let me know what you think. After talking to the doula a few times, she stated that she didn’t have a good experience at our hospital the one birth she had there. She operates in Rhode Island so doesn’t come to Mass often but when she does she goes to another hospital which she is in love with. We decided to check the other hospital out just because it couldn’t hurt. It was absolutely beautiful! Brand new and the rooms were huuuge. And another bonus was that they had a tub. Something my current hospital doesn’t have but something that I would really love to have access to.

So now I’m torn between the two because they both have pros and cons. Here’s the list of pros and cons.

Hospital 1 (our current hospital):
Pro’s
15 minute drive from home
We love our OB but she only delivers here. But we may not get her anyway because they rotate.
Pretty much everyone we know gave birth at this hospital and have only good things to say about it.
Con’s
One of the OB’s who I complained about in a previous post is in this rotation and I would hate for her to deliver my child. I don’t want her near me.
No tub
The postpartum room is oh so tiny. I know it’s not a big deal but it’s really really small. Barely enough room for partners to sleep in.

Hospital 2:
Pro’s
It’s so big and pretty and new
They have a tub (Big selling point for me)
Doula recommended
The same nurse took us on a tour at both hospitals and she recommended hospital 2. She works at both.
Con’s
We would need to find a new OB who’s in rotation at this hospital (really don’t want to do this)
It’s a 45 minute drive from home (boo)

Now this is only round 1 of the pros and cons list. The biggest deciding factor would be whether or not the hospital/doctor’s policies are in line with how we want the birth to go. I plan to find out from my current OB at our next appointment. And I’ve just made an appointment with a midwife at hospital 2 for next Thursday to see how she will do things.

I just need to know where they stand on inducing and episiotomies and things of that sort. My next update will be on their responses and I’ll have to decide what are deal breakers.

Right now I’m leaning towards staying with my OB and current hospital because it’s so close to home and I love my OB but that being said I really don’t know how she approaches each birth and she may not have the same thoughts as we do.

Part of me is frustrated that I’ve put myself in this situation.  I was content not being presented with choice. It never occurred to me to be open to different hospitals etc. I would be happy if someone told me what to do. I even asked N to choose and he flat out refused. He’s afraid he’ll choose one that we end up hating and that he’ll be blamed. But he’s insistent that we do our due diligence and he’s going along to the appointments to ask questions. So he’s involved but he’s reluctant to make a choice for me which is enough for me right now.

So that’s where we’re at right now. I can’t believe this is going by so quickly. I am still in awe of everything. Not everyday is easy but, as they say, everyday is so worth it.

 

 

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Am I Okay Now?

This is the post where, if you’re fortunate enough to be carrying a child after infertility, you reflect on whether or not pregnancy announcements or pregnant bellies still send you into a downward spiral of despair. Everyone’s experience is different but I think the short answer to “Are you okay now?” is “kind of”. Yes it can be a lot easier to bounce back but it’s still a painful reminder of what you’re not able to do spontaneously.

For me, in particular, all the announcements I’ve experienced since my own are for second babies and the reminder that a second baby for us being highly unlikely is something I’m not ready to think about yet and seeing second or third pregnancy announcements forces my head into that space for a short while.

The one thing I’m especially not proud of is in my infertility group on FB. The one I spoke about where the ladies weren’t vibing for a while. I’d mentioned that everyone in that group had a baby already while I was still waiting and I’d started to feel out of touch with them. We’re a year or so on and they’re all either pregnant with number 2, trying for baby number 2 or have had baby number 2 and are trying for number 3. I should be ecstatic for them. But most times when I see their positive tests it just makes me feel how I felt when I was seeing their first positive tests and I had nothing.

The good thing about all this is that the bounce back is incredibly quick. I remember feeling despair for at least a full day but lately it’s just a quick pang. Maybe 20 minutes of me feeling very sorry for myself and then it’s over and I can move on. Lucky Bean is very active lately and when I’m down he’s very good at giving me quick taps to remind me that everything is okay and I love him for it.

I don’t know if this makes me sound ungrateful. This is obviously not the case. I don’t know how to rationalize these feelings. I think it’s just that when I’ve lived my entire life planning a big family. Then getting older and just wanting 3 or 4 kids. Then eventually finding myself struggling to have a child and just hoping for the opportunity to maybe have 2 to eventually having that dream half way realised. I now find myself in transition again to being content with just one child. Each time you have to mourn the loss of those dreams and it just takes a while to get to a place where you’re okay with it.

I know the future isn’t set in stone. I might still get that opportunity. I’m just sharing where I’m at today in this journey to motherhood.

All that being said, there have been 5 pregnancy announcements (3 within the same month) that would have knocked me off my feet and destroyed me if they’d happened a few months ago. But thanks to my awesome doctor and nurses I’m able to smile and feel real joy in the wake of pregnancy news and that feeling is something I am absolutely grateful for.

So while I’m not 100% okay now, perhaps when I have him in my arms I will be even more okay. Or if the universe is really kind I could be 100% okay.

Guess Who Turned 36!

4 more years before this blog becomes a lie hahaha…*sob*.

The day (The 21st) itself was pretty underwhelming. In fact, I’m still harbouring a few hurt feelings because it wasn’t a grand show seeing as how it’s likely my last birthday with just husband and I (and cats) but when you’re saving for maternity leave and paying for a very expensive renovation, your options are pretty limited. But I certainly felt the love around me as I always do on my birthday.

I also did an FB announcement about Lucky Bean’s impending arrival. That, too, was nerve wracking since I hardly ever post anything on FB. Afterwards I felt a bit sheepish, like that was way too much attention for me to handle (I guess I’m not a real Leo). I knew I never wanted to announce but I was in really high spirits after reading and replying to the wishes it just felt like a good time to do it. But it’s done now and again, that love was felt. I didn’t outright mention IVF but I did allude to the fact that there was a struggle. But I don’t think anyone picked up on it.

So that’s it. 36.

I went back and read a few post around last year’s birthday month just to see where I was at emotionally compared to now. Now that my biggest dream of the past few years has come true.

Again last year’s birthday was actually way better than this year. We spent the weekend in New Hampshire with our friends and spent a day slow tubing on the Saco River. It was simply glorious. This year I just ate my body weight in sushi and korean bbq. Still, not the worst but last year was better.

However, last year this time we had come off our 4 failed IVF cycle. Our worst fail to date. We retrieved the most eggs of any cycle but not one of them made to biopsy. We were at our wits end with our RE and just at the absolute lowest of low. Also, a few days after my birthday our RE eventually told us he was out of ideas and we didn’t have any plans to move forward.

As much as I remember that wretched feeling, I distinctly remember being happy as a lark on the actual day. It’s very important to grasp tightly to moments of happiness when you’re struggling with infertility and that was a really good day to be grasping.

And now this year, I’ve been flying pretty high most days but my birthday weekend was kinda of rough. I’m attributing it to hormones because by Tuesday I was fine. I cried a lot and I was irrationally angry a lot and I there really wasn’t any good reason.

But despite all that. Seeing how far we’ve come and to finally be here is so amazing. Yes work is stressing me the hell out and this reno is a pain in the behind but last year around this time I was crying in our RE’s office as he was telling us that he doesn’t want to move forward with more treatments and that he was out of ideas. And yesterday we saw our very last lonely embryo… in 3D… as a little person. With my nose and his dad’s mouth. Frowning, probably because someone was poking at him and disturbing his all day dancing.

As much as I think that last year’s birthday was way better than this years. There’s obviously no doubt in my mind that this August and this year, in fact, is on a whole other playing field in terms of awesome-ness.

The point that we all know, I’m sure, is that you never know what’s going to happen a year from now. My 2015 birthday month I’d just started a new job with new insurance and omg I was filled with hope. My 2014 birthday month we just started finding out about our diagnosis and what it would mean for our future. Gosh in ’09 I was single and so so brokenhearted and then in ’10 I was in another country with a boy I met online!

We all have different stories and big changes and little changes from year to year but my hope is that if you find yourself in a difficult year, try to remember that it won’t last forever. It can’t. And if you find yourself having the best year of your life, just cling to it with all your might because you just never know.

❤ ❤

 

***

P.S. I’ve added a new page to the site with some ultrasound pics and my 2 lonely bump pics, if you’re interested.

P.P.S I just re-read the title of the post. OMG 36. That’s so weird.

 

You Gotta Doula, What You Gotta Do

All my life I’ve been petrified of giving birth. As you may well know, my tolerance for pain is incredibly low. I’m the person who’s on really strong prescription pain killers for most of my period. I just can’t do it. I always joked with my friends that I would be sure to get an epidural at the beginning of the third trimester if I ever had to give birth.

I don’t know when that all changed though. Perhaps during one of my two week waits. Day dreaming about finally carrying a child and in those daydreams, I became obsessed with wanting to feel everything that comes with bringing a child into the world. I wanted to experience the morning sickness, the kicking, the bloating, the “glow”, the throwing up, the heartburn (oh the heartburn), the cravings and most importantly I wanted to feel a real contraction.

As soon as we got the BFP I’ve been able to check off these things on the list which has been magical in itself and now that giving birth is going to happen I’ve had to put in some serious thought about how I want it to go down.

In laying in bed at night thinking excitedly about how I might get to feel a contraction I was also starting to dread feeling a contraction. Dread to the point of not being able to sleep. It’s interesting wanting something so badly yet fearing it with every ounce of your being.

I asked my husband if he thought I could do a pain med free birth and he flat out said no. Not because he’s an asshole but because he’s lived with this drama queen for 7 years. It did sting to hear him say that but I get it. So I asked my mother if she thought I could do it since she did it 3 times. All she said was “Oooh, my child…” and pulled this face.

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Again, my mother knows me so I understand. But I still want to try.

So, I asked two of my friends who gave birth with out pain medication if I could do the same and they both said yes. “Yes, you can. It’s going to suck but if you want it you can do it”. They did advise that a birth class would help. A proper birth class with support and proper techniques. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

Luckily I’d been toying with the idea of getting a doula. It started when I was looking at birth photographers. The one I wanted also happened to be a doula. I stalked her profile for a few weeks and it looked like she taught a gentle birth seminar as well. I really got a good feeling about her. After a bit of umm-ing and ahh-ing about the price I sent her and email to set up a meeting. I told her I was interested in using her as a photographer but I also wanted info on her doula services and the class she taught.

We promptly set up a meeting and I know this is going to sound silly but once we sat down with her and she began talking, Lucky Bean started going crazy. I really took it as a sign that she was going to be the one to help me feel the contraction I’ve been daydreaming about for years.

She’s really lovely so we promptly hired her and we also signed up for her gentle birth seminar. She does these prenatal group nights (we have to do 5 before the baby comes) where her and her partner doulas (there are 3 of them altogether) talk about everything in the whole process to all of her clients.

So far we’ve been to part 1 of the seminar and one of the prenatal group nights. There are about 5 to 6 couples. All of them first time parents so it’s a nice group. Her practice is in Rhode Island so we’re the only Massachusetts couple. They’re all giving birth at the same hospital so we don’t have that in common but that’s neither here nor there.

The classes have been good and bad. Good, in that it’s a lot of information and support and she really makes me feel like I can do anything. Bad, because the simple fact that the techniques we’re learning to get through birth, meditation and hypnosis etc., are insane to me. The fact that you need to hypnosis to make it through the pain is frightening. Like how much is this going to hurt that I’m going to need to be on another level of consciousness to get through it? I look around the room at the calm faces and think how are these women not running out of here screaming. How is this not frightening to them? Why are we all doing this??

So I’m in two places right now. On the one hand, I cannot express the gratitude for this little life inside me. I’m so honoured that I’ll have the opportunity to bring him into the world safely with extremely strong support around me (N has completely forgotten that he doesn’t think I can do this and he is 100% on board with my desired birth experience. I love watching him be engaged). I am ready and excited to prove my mettle. I absolutely do not take for granted how lucky I am to be where I am given where I’ve come from so I owe it to everyone and myself to make the most of this. I know that things might happen and I can’t plan anything but the fact that I get to try is a gift that I don’t want to squander.

On the other hand…

I.am.fucking.petrified.

 

At Least…

One thing infertility has taught me is to be very mindful of what I say to people and to remove some words from my vocabulary.

We see a lot of “What not to say to someone suffering from infertility” articles and I always try to apply that sort of thinking to my everyday interactions with people.

The two words I’m the most conscious of are “At least”. I actively make a point of never starting my response with “Well, at least…” to any news even if it’s just someone feeling fat that day.

I know it’s human nature to want to make someone feel better but when we replace their pain (my boyfriend and I broke up) with another seemingly less painful scenario (well, at least you’re free to do as you please now) doesn’t really make them feel better. I think it makes them push down their current feelings of despair when they’re not ready and that’s never helpful. We have to be allowed to grieve and feel the emotions of whatever we’re going through and the words “at least” do not help with the grieving at all.

I know that I’m preaching to the converted here and we’ve all been give some “At least” lines a few times while navigating  this infertility road, though.

I think, where I am now, I’m good at being more empathetic towards people. I have a pretty good handle on putting myself in other peoples’ shoes. Sometimes to my own detriment but that’s another story. What I’m trying to learn now is to remove the words “At least” from my vocab when talking to or about myself.

I always tend to diminish my own pain and struggle with these two words and I’m trying really hard to change that.

For example, when IVF 4 failed. I’d always say, Well at least this isn’t my 10th failure. I’m still a puppy in the infertility failure world.

While it’s true, it’s really something I shouldn’t have said. Yes, it did help me get up off the ground faster, but it didn’t help me heal properly from the failures.

This “At least” tactic I use on myself I learned from being in an abusive relationship. I actually just realized I almost did it again. I almost wrote “a semi abusive relationship”. I almost wrote it that way because well, at least he never left bruises.

I really have to constantly remind myself that “At least” doesn’t fix the problem. It doesn’t make my situation better. And it is a struggle because if you take away those fix it words you’re forced to face the problem. You’re forced to internalise and feel those stupid painful feelings.

Nobody wants to feel pain, least of all me. But what’s interesting is this. My shitty relationship taught me how to switch off all pain and I’m quite adept at it now and what I find fascinating is that it helped me get up and dust myself of quicker with each failed round of IVF. I would cry for a day but the next day I could act like nothing happened. When you’re in a shitty relationship most of your days are spent acting as if nothing happened just to survive. But the fact that I could push through and not appear broken is a skill I’ve mastered. And as much as I’m loathed to say it, maybe those 2.5yrs with that guy weren’t completely wasted.

My job now, is to unlearn that behaviour. I have to feel all the feelings and stop switching off the pain. Because as much as it is a good survival tool, it’s not a good tool for living.

I definitely still need therapy because I’m still not able to talk about that part of my life without some sort of reaction and I carry a lot of hatred towards that person still. I want to start healing and I want to be more whole.

Anyway, in the absence of therapy, I have my self awareness and my tiny life lessons and my goals for now. And this blog of course.

Sorry, if this turned a little deep and dark but it is Monday after all. Just getting some thoughts out of my head.

A Balanced Translocation

We’re almost at the half-way mark with this little guy. Last week we had our anatomy scan and he’s doing really well. We have a fetal echo cardiogram scan next month but the doctor said that she doesn’t foresee any problems with that since we saw all 4 of his heart chambers and they looked good.

It was a long appointment but it was really cool to see how they measured everything and we got a few good pics (will try to post them on the new page if I figure out how). He definitely has his dad’s profile IMO. The best part for me was seeing him move and feeling him move at the same time, just confirming what all these flutters really are. He was very active and the tech had her work cut out for her. She had to take a 10min break and made me switch positions and poke my belly to try to get him to turn. When she came back he seemed to be napping so it was smooth sailing after that.

Before we did the anatomy scan they had us meet with their genetic counselor to explain the process and discuss our history. She had the most lovely accent that we could not place. That’s not relevant to the story but it was really lovely.

She asked us why we did IVF and we mentioned the balanced translocation and her eyes seemed to light up. Like we were her first interesting case of the day. She was surprised that it wasn’t in our file so she wasn’t prepared but she gave us all the risk factors and went through our family tree. We’d already done this with our first genetic counselor meeting years ago when we first heard about the BT but it was nice to get a refresher, I guess. She said that the NIPT test we had is so very accurate and she trusts it more than the anatomy scan since that obviously only picks up physical markers.

At the end of it I asked how soon after he’s born can we test to see if he has his father’s BT or not. She said that if we didn’t want to stick him they could draw the blood at birth from the umbilical cord. Then she said “If you feel it necessary to know that information.”

It never once crossed my mind to not know. She said that what if we tell him and he feels he could have gone have done without that information. She said that N is fine so the baby will be fine. I found it strange that she seemed like she was in the out-of-sight-out-of-mind camp and I didn’t really like it.

Why would you not want to know that information? Our plan is to find out as soon as possible and start having age appropriate conversations with him about what it means IF he happens to have the BT.

I’m a silent stalker in a BT support group on FB and this topic came up a few times and almost everyone overwhelmingly agreed that they would want their children to know as soon as possible, mostly because the would have wanted that information up front as well. Some of them even spoke about starting IVF funds for their BT children as an option which I think is great.

This also brought to light a few other thoughts I’ve had about passing a BT on to a child. What if he has a BT and when we explain it to him and what the possible implications are and he ends up hating us for doing this to him?

It’s a possibility. A scary possibility. One that I have to be prepared for. We have some time to discuss this and prepare ourselves and there’s also the chance that he doesn’t have one he could end up hating us for some other reason. Perhaps because we got him circumcised without his permission. Perhaps because he’s mixed race and he struggles to find his place in society. Maybe he’ll hate us for inheriting my big bunny teeth and his dad’s bad eye sight.

There are so many maybe’s here. Too many. I’m sure everyone has this fear to a certain extent. But the truth is, you just never know who your child will be and how they will react to certain situations. You just have to try to do you best with what you have.

I think our best bet here is to remember that he will have a kind heart and a fighter’s spirit that he inherited from us. And he has two parents who love him immeasurably and we will always try to do the right thing by him.

 

My Last Two Week Wait

Firstly, thank you so much to everyone who’s responded to my last post and gave their thoughts. You’ve all really made me feel better about how I’m handling being on this side of the fence. I did some thinking and what usually triggers me (even for a few seconds) is bump and ultrasound pics. I think those I’ll add to a separate page if anyone is interested to see (if I take any bump pics). My reasoning is mostly because this wasn’t intended to be a strict infertility blog. It was a “Life in my 30s” blog. Infertility just took over the last few years of it.

But please know that I will always try to be mindful of what I say and which words I choose. I hope that I can stay true to this blog and this part of the journey while still remaining sensitive and respectful. ❤

In this post I want to go into detail, with dates, about my TWW. I’m going to try my best to remember what happened both for myself and anyone who likes to compare symptoms. I also realized that I never posted my beta numbers and I enjoy comparing these to others as well.

Wednesday April 5, 2017: Transfer day.  Spent the day resting on the couch.

1dp5dt: Took this day off work as well and spent the day with my friend B and her son. I don’t remember too many details just that we watched Dave Chapelle on Netflix. No symptoms.

2dp5dt: Back at work. Spent most of the day Googling symptoms. Shocked at how many women have symptoms on day 2. Granted they could be progesterone but still. I had nothing.

3dp5dt: Still no symptoms. We went to our friends’ daughter’s 3rd birthday party and spent the day with them afterwards. It was a great distraction. Plus pizza and cake!

4dp5dt: Woke up in the middle of the night by what felt like a panic attack. I felt a strong wooshing feeling through my body. I could even hear it in my ears it was so weird. Then I got an instant hot flash (flash or flush? anyway) and had to throw the blankets off my and my heart was pounding. It was a little scary but I remember reading about this in one of the forums. Could this be it? The rest of the day I felt unrested and sluggish but no other real symptoms. Obsessively Googling. This was also the day N and I went on that quick hike and I was attacked by that tick.

5dpd5dt: Half way! Feeling normal again. Distraught. Decide to start getting into the Easter spirit with baking and food prep. I remember this being the worst day and being quite weepy.

6dp5dt: Another symptom-less day at work. On the drive home an extremely sharp pain runs across my abdomen and down to my lady bits. It took my breath away and I even had to take my foot off the gas and hunch over. Something clicked right then and I began talking to my child. “Oh my goodness, that’s you isn’t it? You sure took your sweet time but thanks for that, little one”. I’ll never forget this day.

7dp5dt: Tiny little lower abdomen twitches about every 2 hours or so. Absolutely no other symptoms. I rubbed my tummy and talked to my embryo all day. We were in this together.

8dp5dt: I couldn’t tell if this is nausea or if I was making it up it was so mild. But my boobs were starting to ache. Something like just before my period and it was almost period time. I was also having more discharge. Another “almost period time” symptom. I’m feeling despondent.

9dp5dt: Easter Friday. Day off work. N had to work. I had planned to visit B again but she fell ill. I was quite bummed not knowing how to distract myself for the last day. I ended up sitting in the sun and reading and then went to search for a bottle of sparkling sake (saw it on Instagram) in case the cycle failed. My nerves were shot all day and I kept switching between begging and pleading and planning our next… our last cycle. It was not a good day to be alone. I found a giant bottle of sake. It wasn’t sparkling but it would do the trick. Watching TV with N that night, I got up to use the ladies. Brown spotting. It’s a strange place feeling your heart break and trying to be positive at the same time. The day before’s symptoms were increasing including the nausea and an added headache. I didn’t know what to think. I came out and told N about the bleeding. He had a worried look in my eyes and just said “oh no”. I climbed back under the blankets and we held hands and remained quiet the rest of the night.

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Saturday, April 15 – 10dp5dt: Beta day. I’m sad that most of this day, before and after the phone call, was a blur. I don’t remember what we ate for dinner or what the blood draw was like. But I know the appointment was at 7am. I drove up by myself and then N had to do a few work things so I drove around with him in his work van while we waited for the call. We went to a few boat yards and I was talking to my friends back home on Whatsapp all day. Everyone was on tenterhooks.  I remember stopping at Dunkin’ around 1pm and we got some bad food. We then went to his office so he could unload some stuff. I waited in the car for an hour just staring at my phone. I resolved to call them at 2 if I’d heard nothing. The closer we got to 2pm the more I was shaking. I ran to the toilet every few minutes for nervous farts and poops. Finally at 3 minutes past 2pm the call came through. I held my phone in my sweaty shaking hands until it went to voicemail. My eyes had tears in them already and I couldn’t shout to N to come because my voice would have cracked with emotion. He eventually joined me in the car and we took a few moments to collect ourselves. I told him I want to video tape our reactions. He reluctantly agreed. With his phone set on the dashboard he hit record and I hit play.
“Hi xxx, this is xxx from Dr xxx’s office just giving you a call with the results of your blood work today. Um, I am calling with good news. Congratulations, your result today was positive. So, we like to see the minimum level for HCG for this first test at at least 100, yours today was at 341. So a very good place to start. We always do subsequent blood draws to make sure that the level is rising so we do need you to come back in 2 days, that’s Monday morning for your next blood draw. I booked you in for 7:15 at the xxx office. In the meantime just continue your medication and we will see you in the office on Monday morning. If you have any questions we’ll be in the office until 2:30. Okay thanks. Bye bye.”

I didn’t really catch anything after 341 but I’ve listened to this voicemail enough times since. Most of the video is me with my mouth open and N laughing and then I just started crying and he hugged me and we kissed. Then we drove home in complete shock.

I on the drive home I sent the video to my family and my girlfriends back home and to B here and I was just in a daze for the rest of the day.

The day wasn’t perfect but close to it. N’s mom came over, she didn’t know that we had transferred this cycle and she was having a really tough time. One of her dogs, a black lab named Busta, had been really ill all week and he passed the night before our beta. She came over to drop something off but she was in tears telling us the story. It’s really heart wrenching. He was getting old and had hip problems. The vet gave her some medication for it but unfortunately the medication is lethal for some dogs. How this medication isn’t banned is another story. She was really a mess and we weren’t sure if we should give her some good news while she was grieving so badly. In the end N told her. She was over the moon so I’m glad we told her but I wonder if going from that sad to that happy that quickly is good. I don’t know if that makes sense.

12dp5dt: I spent this day with B and her son again. We went to the zoo. I think I was fine this day symptom-wise. My beta jumped up to 873. I was told that my next beta would only be a week later so I spent the rest of the week peeing on my wondfo’s every morning. My symptoms weren’t crazy so I needed other assurance. But so far so good.

19dp5dt: The before the the beta N and I went out for lunch and I had a virgin daiquiri. I’d never ordered one before and I was really excited. I think it was the first time I let my guard down a little bit and it felt good. My final beta before ultrasound was 11626. These betas were really reassuring, of course, but I did have that very scary bleed the next day so my guard was promptly reinstated. I remember the 3 weeks from this beta until the ultrasound being pure torture. I only started feeling real hard symptoms after the ultrasound. But getting this beta was a really good. I celebrated on this day.

And that’s the story of how I managed to allow a bottle of alcohol to go unopened for longer than a day.

It’s also the story of how my 10th embryo, my last embryo, found it’s way into my uterine wall and changed my life.