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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5, 6 and 7dpt

So no one cared that I didn’t drink on Saturday :). To be fair I only knew 2 out of the 5 of us there so why would anyone question why I wasn’t drinking? I spent most of the night sipping on water and staring longingly at a beautiful block of blue cheese. It was actually a fun night considering that the host and I were the only 2 non-moms (we both have 3 cats each, that’s why I love her). I really enjoyed listening to them tell funny stories about their kids. Kids are great. I should try to have some… Oh wait.

Sunday passed without any excitement. I was a bit naughty and painted 2 doors outside. I figured what could be more ventilated than outside right? Of course if we get a negative I’ll of course blame the painting but at least I’ll have some pretty painted doors to look at and wipe my tears on.

Yesterday I had a cleaning at the dentist. I told gave her the list of medication I’m on. She asked why the aspirin and I explained about the IVF and she just smiled the smile of one who didn’t know what to say. She then mentioned x-rays and I asked if it was okay to get x-rays if there’s a possibility thaaat, you know, IVF. She got the hint but I physically couldn’t say the word pregnant. Strange. Anyway, the cleaning hurt more than I was used to and so much blood. Possibly because of the aspirin, but I survived. I usually enjoy going to the dentist but she hurt me. The good news is that the dentist signed off on my braces and faxed over the papers to the Orthodontist. All I need now is a down payment and I can go ahead and make my appointment to get my braces! I can’t wait!!!

Today we’re 7dp6dt. Still no symptoms but I’m feeling more positive than negative. I was actually telling my friends today that I need to prepare myself for the possibility that this could be negative. It’s going to suck to start from scratch but we have 5 more rounds. A negative beta is going to break me a little more but it won’t be the end. I’ve also decided to tell my boss that we’re doing IVF if it comes back negative. It feels like the right thing to do.

THREE MORE SLEEPS!! I’m in bed already. Hubs is playing online video games with some friends and I have a hot date with Hugh the Hand… No! It’s a character in the book I’m reading… Really, it is!

TWW (Two Week Wait) – Long Post

CHAPTER ONE:

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit scared out of my mind. Actually I’ve had moments of despair knowing in my heart that this won’t work.

Our baby is an EBBB graded embryo. This is different to the number-letter-letter grading so I looked it up and this is what it means:

Blastocysts are graded on the basis of expansion/size, ICM (inner cell mass) and Trophectoderm (TE) and recorded by a string of FOUR letters. First two letters refer to the expansion/size of the blastocyst and the following two letters denote the quality of ICM and TE respectively.

Expansion:
Early Blastocyst (<50% cavity)=EB
Expanded Blastocyst (>50% cavity)=XB
Hatching Blastocyst=HB
ICM:
Based on the cohesiveness and the size, the ICM is (subjectively) graded as A (GOOD), B (FAIR) or C (POOR).
TE:
Depending on the number and microscopic morphology of cells in the trophectoderm layer, it is graded as A (GOOD), B (FAIR) or C (POOR).
As you can imagine I’ve been googling EBBB success rates and scrutinizing the picture they gave us. I’m just not sure. And another thing that’s worrying me is that when they thawed it it didn’t grow further. It didn’t degrade which is fantastic but it didn’t progress either.
On the other hand I have a few symptoms, I think. I have a constant cramp in my lower abdomen. I don’t know if this is good or bad. It’s not painful just constant. It feels like ovulation cramp just all the time but it goes away when I walk around. And every now and then I feel a tiny stab in my lower abdomen too. This is the only thing giving me hope as I’ve read about this happening.
Now I’m dealing with guilt for not having faith, despair because I don’t think this is it, hope because I’m crampy. I heard the tww was a rollercoaster but my goodness.
1 day down… 9 days to go. fml.
CHAPTER TWO:

I woke up in complete despair. I’m very fragile and husband mentioned that the clinic took $145 out of our account without notifying us. This was not what I wanted to hear. I woke up with no more cramps so that was already messing with me.

I had a nightmare last night. I don’t remember much but it involved my niece and nephew getting up out of bed and running to the door screaming. I don’t know why or what from but I could sense the fear and it stayed with me after I woke up. I had to pee and that felt a little reassuring because I don’t generally have to pee in the middle of the night and I didn’t have anything to drink too late last night.

But the drive to work was a nightmare. I was annoyed with this money story and just not feeling very positive about anything. It was very overwhelming and I almost cried.

I remember feeling like this when they told us we only had 2 embryos to test. It was a dark time. But I crawled my way out of it and was in a very good place. I was at peace with either outcome and I need to get there. I have to try and enjoy where I am right now.

I’m actually IM’ing a friend from back home about my dark mood and he’s helping a little. I’m feeling way better than I did this morning. To help matters the $145 wasn’t the clinic it was actually the double acupuncture appointment on Tuesday :). So I’m definitely better in that regard.

Although the constant cramp is gone and I’m a lot less bloated today, I’m still feeling very small tiny blips in my lower abdomen and I’ve had subtle heartburn since I had some chicken salad a few hours ago. The first time I’m enjoying heartburn.

In my head I’m singing the song Phoebe sang to the fetuses the day she got implanted with 5 embryos in that one episode of Friends! I love how she got implanted and got a positive test that very same day!! Ah if only.

 CHAPTER THREE:

I am 4dp5dt.

The crazy fog has lifted. I think the universe was looking out for me. On Wednesday, in the midst of my funk, 3 bloggers made posts that spoke to me directly and really helped me to get a grip. A big thank you to girl4182 for this postchels819 for this postJENNIE for this post (and Caroline for the quote) and of course my husband for reminding me to remain positive. Each of you said something I absolutely needed to hear so really really thank you.

My next thank you is obviously to Shonda Rhimes (lol). Without giving too much away, Amelia has to a surgery but before she goes in she does a superhero pose… The theory is that if you stand in a superhero pose for about 2 minutes while breathing deeply and standing tall with your chest out, you will feel more confident and positive and your mood elevates… I googled it. It’s a real thing. So, yes, I dragged my ass off to the bathroom because I didn’t want to look like a fool in front of my colleagues and I stood in superhero pose for 2 minutes.

Did it help? A little. But only because I ended up chuckling at myself. I felt a little silly but I did feel better after.

My final thank you goes out to Earth Wind and Fire. Because how can you be in despair when listening to Earth Wind and Fire?

Yesterday at 3dpt I still didn’t have any symptoms but I was okay. I was thinking about where I was. 3dpt was further than I’d ever been in this journey and that in itself is amazing! I never thought I’d be here. One day at a time.

And now I’m here! 4dpt! I have a constant cramp on my left side since I woke up and while it’s not there anymore, my boobs felt heavy and my nipples were tingly. I keep jiggling my boobs to test but it’s definitely gone. I hope I’m not the only one out there jiggling her boobs during the tww :). The cramp is there though. There’s a part of me that’s worried about it being ectopic but I really can’t worry about that now. One stressor at a time please.

Anyway, This time last week I was saying this time next I’ll possibly be 3dpt and now I can say this time next week I’ll possibly be… argh, I can’t even write it. Damn you superstitions!

Hope everyone is doing well. Here’s some Earth Wind and Fire. Play this while doing the superhero pose if you’re feeling down. 🙂

CHAPTER FOUR:

The two week wait sucks

CHAPTER FIVE:

I almost tested this morning but I think the universe was looking out for me because I couldn’t find the bag of wondfo’s I bought just for this reason! Picture me with a full bladder running and dancing around the house this morning looking for them. It was pretty funny. I’m still not sure if I should test or not. N gave the thumbs up but I don’t think I’m mentally prepared for a BFN.

I still have no idea if this has worked or not. My symptoms are barely worth mentioning. It’s like my body is teasing me with symptoms. And I’m only quasi-moody. Yesterday I had a nagging cramp on my right side for solid 6 hours. I had to practically scootch all the way down in my seat to get comfortable then on the drive home my left butt cheek went numb. And then today, nothing. WTH!

In the meantime I’ve just been rubbing my belly and talking to my kid and kissing the picture of the embryo everyday.

8 days down… 2 more to go.

CHAPTER 6

9dp5dt and I was pregnant for a day.

I shouldn’t have tested. I’ll never do that again. Yesterday I found a test in my back pack from last year. I forgot I had it. The expiration date was 2016 so I thought it would be okay. That was my first mistake. On my way home I bought 2 dollar tree tests. That was my second mistake. When I walked in I just told N we’re doing this. I squeezed out a 7:30pm pee on the old test and immediately got a faint positive. I had never seen a positive in my life. We didn’t talk about it much. Just enjoyed the rest of the evening in silent elation. I couldn’t stop looking at the stick. I kept checking it every half hour just to make sure I wasn’t seeing things but there it was. We watched Tosh.O and the Empire finale (how good is this show, man! My new favourite) and half of Family Guy. Then I attempted to go to sleep. I obviously tossed and turned for hours. I was over the moon but still scared. I didn’t want to get too excited but I couldn’t wait for this morning’s test. Just to put me at ease.

I did not expect the glaring negative that appeared this morning. Not even a hint a line. Nothing. So much nothing. I’ve never hated an inanimate object so much. Confusion. Anger. Despair. Why did I test? What’s going on? a chemical pregnancy? A false positive on the other test? I’ll never know. I know false negatives are few an far between so I’ve given up hope. I still have a pain on my lower left side but it’s not as bad as the pain in my heart right now.

N tried to reassure me but I’m a little inconsolable right now. Also, we kind of knew this was a long shot and that we should try to take this round as a trial round but how can I not be a little distraught?

Infertility sucks my friends. But onward and upward. At least I can drink again.

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Hi Baby!

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Bye Baby…

CHAPTER SIX:

Well, there it is… The dreaded voicemail… Waiting until I get home so N can listen to it. I can’t bear it.

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Embaby on Board

I’m 1dp5dt (1 day past 5 day transfer)… Wow, I never thought I’d get to write that ever. I’m in shock. Again, one of the many things I’m feeling. Here’s the blow-by-blow.

We got to acupuncture at 8:30. Dr L is so great he came in especially for me since he doesn’t open that early so that was greatly appreciated. I was relatively relaxed and had a hell of a lot more needles put in. It was a good session but was subsequently ruined when I saw a voicemail from the clinic. My heart was racing when I listened back but it was just them saying they’re definitely doing the transfer but pushed my time up to 11:45. I’m very glad that I made us get a move on early. We were up there by 10:30 and faffed around until 11:15 when I had to do my nervous pee.

My transfer was set for 12:45 but I had to come an hour early to start drinking water and take a valium and sign paper work. She said do 2-3 cups of water and to space it out since we had a lot of time. I forgot that I have a toddler’s bladder and I only got through a cup and a bit and I was bursting… and we still have 30min to go. I don’t listen to instruction well when I’m nervous. I asked the nurse if she knew if my child survived the thaw and she was like “Yes, that’s the only reason you’re here.”. The morning phone call is to tell us to come in or not. That made me feel really good but she said that the day 5 embryos always thaw perfectly and they have it down to an art :). Dr G gave us and 80% thaw survival rate. That 20% still had me up at night.

I was given a wrist band with my details on it and we were ushered into the room where the magic happens. I only had to undress the bottom half and neither of us had to wear the bonnets or shoe covers some people wear. The old doctor with the high waisted scrubs who did my retrieval was doing the transfer which makes me wonder what our RE’s job is if he’s not doing retrievals or transfers.

My bladder was ridiculous at this point. I really could barely deal but I was brave. The nurse said it was perfect and didn’t want me to go empty it a little. So, it was a party of five in there. Me, N, ultrasound nurse, old man doctor and cheerleader clipboard nurse who had very complimentary things to say about my uterus. She had me confirm my name to her twice to make sure we don’t get any embie mix ups. Then it was speculum time.

ultrasound nurse was so gentle I wanted to kiss her. So I didn’t pee all over Oldie. The speculum was as it always was, terrible. He also cleaned my cervix with the cheerleader smiling at my vagina creepily. The catheter was a breeze, I saw it on the ultrasound but didn’t feel it go in. I did start shaking though. I was getting very cold. So they brought me a warm blanket and life made sense again.

Then Ultrasound opened a side door and said “We’re ready”. 2 embryologists (I assume that’s who they were) appeared in unison with another clipboard and asked my name and checked my wrist band, then left and closed the door…in unison. Cheerleader said they’re just prepping and I should see it pop on the screen. 5 seconds later there it was.

I let out a really loud gasp and Cheerleader and Ultrasound said “awww”… So tiny and perfect. They took a pic for us. They said it thawed perfectly. I still can’t put into words what I was thinking or feeling. The screen went back to the ultrasound and we waited until the embryologist twins came in with my baby in a tube and silently left and we watched Oldie do his thing. It was over before I knew it. I didn’t get a picture of the little white line in my uterus that was my baby but seeing it was priceless.

After that, our new friends wished us luck and we were given all the necessary instructions. No bed rest, just take it easy and that was that.

Back at acupuncture I couldn’t really relax when I was on my back. My mind was racing and it was colder than usual but when I was on my stomach I was out like a light. It was awesome until the heating lamp thing dinged and startled me. I twitched really hard and pulled something in my lower back and felt a twinge in my abdomen. I’m really scared about that, but trying to put it out of my mind.

When we eventually got home, I’d hired 3 movies (Catching Fire, Delivery Man and Big Hero 6). Catching Fire and Delivery Man were trrrrash. Don’t bother. Big Hero 6 was awesome. We had a really late lunch/early dinner and I had halloumi cheese and olives as a 9pm snack. I’m going to write a post about my love for halloumi cheese. It warrants it’s own post. And then we went to bed and as I was dozing off N put his hand on my tummy thus making a perfect day even more perfect.

This whole transfer experience was surreal and awesome. And even if it doesn’t work out for us this round, I highly recommend it… well, you know… if you have to.

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The Call

We’ve finally made it. It’s finally transfer day eve.

The call came at 3pm. Do they do that on purpose you think? Oh yes, let’s make them sweat until their about to snap and THEN call them *evil laugh*. I’m sure they have a process but man that’s a long wait. I took half of today off and went to get some socks to wear tomorrow. I was looking for ladybird socks but settled for cute pineapple ones. I also found very cute ladybird earrings. I also realised that I still have the t-shirt I wore on our first date, so I’m going to wear that too.

To say that I’m excited is beyond an understatement. Actually excited is one of the many emotions I’m feeling. I’m certainly not going to be sleeping tonight. I have my first acupuncture appointment at 8:30 then we take a long drive up to Lexington for noon. I’ll then drink water for an hour and take some yummy Valium. Transfer is set for 1pm after which I’ll go back to the second acupuncture appointment.

Unfortunately, I’ve taken no time off work. I have 2 weddings in July in South Africa and I have to save all my time off but depending on how I feel I may work from home.

So that’s it… 4 more hours til bed time. I’ve already cooked dinner. I made my favourite soup that should take us until Thursday. I don’t want to have to cook anything for a few days.  Now how am I going to kill 4 hours? Maybe I should do my hair…

I’ll leave you with some pics of the stuff I got for the transfer. And a little painted stone ladybird from our yard. N’s grandmother painted it a while back and I forgot we had it.

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