Transfer #3

I realized something today. I wasn’t blogging yet, when I did my first transfer. I didn’t blog about my second transfer until after it failed, I’m not sure why really, the support would have been nice, but I didn’t. Today was FET #3. The miracle Molly gave me, a 6AA fully hatched blast. It was unfrozen, fully expanded and transferred without incident.

I was running late to my pre-transfer acupuncture appointment, and in my rush to get there, I got the first speeding ticket I’ve ever had in my life. Which I guess I can do to traffic school for, but whatever. Transfer went well, while I was in the recover, Molly came to talk to me a little said my uterine lining was great, no stripes, completely white which I guess is what they wanted to see. My P4 from yesterday is a little on the low side at 26.87, she said that a level of about 40 usually indicates a higher than average chance of pregnancy, hence the increase dosage of my PIO shots, and that my E2 was perfect.

I went to the post transfer acupuncture appointment and that went well too, I lay there just trying to keep my mind blank and focus on feeling the needles.

I just walked in the door about 20 minutes ago, so its been a long day for me.

The Beta is next Friday at 11am. Between now and then I hope to do a lot of meditating, catching up on some TV, doing homework for my classes, working on some projects I’m in the middle of, and generally taking things sort of easy. Not too much stress, not too much worry, just focusing on resting my godforsaken noisy mind.

The outcomes at this point are out of my hands. All I can do is wait, try not to be anxious and promise myself not to pee on any sticks. This time, I’m going to wait for the Beta, I’m going enjoy not knowing, and if I cry in front of the Dr so be it.

Snuggle in little bean, snuggle in tight and thrive in your new, less frosty environment.

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Today

I went to my clinic to get a final blood draw, and ultrasound this morning to see what my levels are and what my Endometrium (lining) is. Dr Yelian did it himself.

Results: Endometrium 12.4, E2 185+, P4 26.87. My PIO dose has been increased to 1.5ccs. Ow! The transfer is tomorrow at 2:15pm. I will need to be there 30 minutes early, and I will be having acupuncture both before and after the transfer.

I stopped by the Temple today to light candles, meditate, pray, I asked a monk for a blessing, I asked for strength and grace, for this blessing to become a reality, and for happiness good health and harmony for my family. I also asked for forgiveness because I’m a tremendously flawed person. But I am becoming someone I like.

Then I went and got my hair done, because you know what? I don’t want to spend the next few weeks looking at my dark roots. I’m such a girl (I don’t know where this vanity comes from, I’m not even a big makeup wearing person). On the way home, I stopped Costco and bought a big fragrant pineapple, some milk, and some nuts.

You know what I didn’t do today? I didn’t hide me knickers at the ultrasound. In fact I took a picture to prove it.

I even wore hot pink ones just to give my otherwise boring underpants choices a pop of color. I’m starting a knicker revolution. Not really but my blue skirt and hot pink underwear made me laugh and Dr. came into the room before I could shove them out-of-the-way. So here you are. My knickers. It’s not the full shot but its them all the same. Also notice I was not tidy and didn’t fold anything. Its been about 100 degrees lately so knit skirt, t-shirt sandals, I’m golden.

Meditations tonight, some happy thoughts, my first butternut squash soup of the season. A nice peaceful, quiet, evening.

Thank you to everyone that responded to my earlier post, What ever happens is out of my hands now. But I will be praying my little Jinyu snuggles in tight.

Lastly, I’m going to post my IVF song. Don’t look at the video just listen to the music and lyrics. It’s by Ian Britt, an incredible artist and a friend. It’s what I’d say to my imaginary baby. (Shameless plug) You can buy Ian Britts amazing work on iTunes.

Wish me luck. Thank you so much!

The Shape of Us

 

Tides

In less than 2 hours I have my last check to see if things are a go for tomorrows transfer.

I admit it, I’m nervous. Part of me want to move forward immediately and the other part of my want to yell slow down! Its my last frozen blast, I’m scared!

I ordered a rather expensive fertility bracelet 6 or 7 months ago, and I’ve worn it every single day, without fail no matter where I go for that entire time. I take it off only at night and at acupuncture. Last night after my class, I was taking it off and it broke. I froze for a second. Thinking is this a bad omen? Then I thought I don’t believe in omens, so I thought, maybe the universe is trying to tell me something? Then I thought, well that’s stupid. Always a fight between the rational and irrational me.

A bracelet isn’t going to make this transfer fail. An embryo with chromosomal abnormalities will. Chromosomal abnormalities that make it not compatible with life, that’s what will make this fail.

Maybe my hormone levels will cancel the transfer, or my Endometrium will not be ideal. I am ready for that to happen if that’s the case.

After my egg retrieval last Friday, my Dr prescribed Progesterone in Oil shots, progesterone pills and Estrace that started the same day as the retrieval. Last night because I had class from 7-10pm, I had to give myself a PIO shot with no mirror, in a public bathroom. Seriously?

Because the first night I hit a vein or something and caused a bruise that’s eggplant purple and about 4×6 my right side is out. The left side by last night had 4 little hard grape sized bruises so I just went for it, between them. It of course bled a bit but, I’m doing the best I can considering husband refuses to do it and I had to do it in a public bathroom like some kind of fertility medication junky.

There is absolutely no dignity in this process.

I don’t know if you guys remember my little “Luteal Phase Follicle” miracle, but this is it. This is the one that was retrieved post ovulation, fertilized normally, I was called on Day 4 that it died, and then it became a 6AA hatching blast. There is a series of posts written about it that I believe started with this one;l Circus School: Luteal Phase Follicle Edition.

There are a few more posts about it after, following me though the wait to see if it would fertilize and then live to day 5. This is the embryo that would be transferred back. Which I think is part of what makes me nervous, I’m a little afraid to let go of this embryo, a little afraid that it’s already had its magical moment and wont become a baby.

Thank you to everyone who gave me their opinions about this decision. Having been down this particular path before and failed, I’ve not been as much in a hurry as the rest of you, but I do have 3 additional retrievals and I guess that’s a good enough backup.

As you can see, I never made a decision I’m going to let the numbers and the professionals decide for me. It’s rarely been out of my mind since it was suggested to me 4 days ago. I’ve thought about it, meditated on it, and am giving it up to God or Buddha or the Creator, Science or whomever.

Consequently has anyone looked at the moon the last few days? September 30 was the Harvest Moon, and the Chinese Moon Festival, the time of the year when its closest to earth, its been beautiful and huge!

I will update once I find out which way the tide will be turning.

Things Worth Saving

I wish I could say that I have a good relationship with my family. The truth is I just don’t. I can’t have a civilized conversation with my mother for more than 5 minutes, neither of my sisters speak to me, so that leaves 2 brothers. One who talks to me occasionally and the other who doesn’t. My father passed away suddenly 11 years ago.

For years I wished things were different. While I seemed to grasp that logically, emotionally there was still a sad little girl who wishes we aren’t so fractured as a family. My husband has learned that some holidays I tolerate better than others and that  some are altogether un-salvageable. Which 1. Made me think I married a pretty awesome guy and 2. Made me wonder how much my sadness has affected the family I have now. It’s a sobering thought. It made me uncomfortable, because my sadness is my responsibility. If I’ve focused on my sadness, then I’ve not been giving my best to the family I’ve created.

I’ve heard that I need to “live in the moment” or “walk out of your upbringing” and lots of other colloquialisms that seemed trite and never really resonated with me. I mean seriously where is the instruction manual?!

I was in my 30’s before I started cooking regularly, because I thought that cooking for 1 was a waste of my time and cooking for 2 was also a waste of my time.  I outsourced my housework, laundry, dry cleaning, and sometimes cooking, because my time was worth so much more than those menial tasks.

A few months ago, by accident, I realized that I save things “for a special occasion”.  Saved them for a time that’s more important than now, where I will be prettier, thinner, happier, more satisfied. Endless tomorrows that never seem to come.

What I suddenly grasped was that life is ordinary. It’s made up of lots of menial tasks, a million ordinary moments, and a few extraordinary ones. There are no special tomorrows. Yes there will be special times, but I think that the point is to see the beauty in the menial tasks and ordinary moments.

Maybe it’s time to wear that outfit I’ve saved, or to use the crystal or china that’s been sitting in the cupboard for years gathering dust. Maybe it’s time to stop looking at the past, and letting it overwhelm me. Time to realize and accept that I’m never  NOT going to be sad about it. Being sad is a normal reaction to terrible events. It’s time to make peace with it, to realize it’s never going to go away, and for lack of a better term, acknowledge that it walks along with me whether I like it or not. Acceptance.

I don’t like cleaning but I love a clean house. I HATE folding laundry, but I love the smell and feel of fresh sheets, towels and clothes. I’ve learned to enjoy cooking because I like to know what I’m feeding my family. These menial tasks, they have become a huge part of my life.

Ideally you get two chances at parenthood. You get the ones who gave birth to you, and the ones you become in whatever form that takes. My past is sad, but I’m aware that I need to put it aside, stop saving things for a “special occasion”, give my fullest attention to my family, and both work toward and allow myself to hope for a better now.

The Monitoring Carousel

Yesterday was  the beginning of  my 4th month of “monitoring” which means on day 2 or 3 of your  menstrual cycle you go in for blood-work where they check your E2, and your FSH.  And an ultrasound. A vaginal ultrasound. That’s right, inside, while you are bleeding. No one buys you lunch or dinner before it either.

Here’s where we lose the pants. Lets be honest, you spend a good deal of time not wearing pants during this process. All you get is a thin little paper sheet to cover your bits. “Now scooch your butt down to the end of the table, all the way to the end. Open your knees please.. all the way open”

If you’re lucky it will just be you and the woman who does the ultrasound, if you’re not lucky the (male) Dr will walk in and watch. They will check your uterine lining and will see if there are any follicles in either ovary. Assuming they can see them both. My right one has a history of wandering off for a walk, like those live paintings in the Harry Potter movies, when they are trying to see it. They will also know if you’ve drunk enough water and will show you how your bladder has bursts of urine flowing into it. Are you wincing? Because you should be. Once they have checked everything, the remove the probe and leave the room so you can clean up the crime scene and put your clothes back on.

Usually you will be given whatever your protocol/meds are with instructions, and you will schedule an appointment to do it again on day 8. Not 8 days later, day 8 of your cycle. Just enough time to almost forget how embarrassing the last appointment was, but not quite. And in all likelihood, you will never again be able to look that poor ultrasound woman in the eye.

In my case, because my last cycle was a FET or (Frozen Embryo Transfer) which failed, my period is painful, which makes the vaginal probe even more of an adventure.

You will have at least 2 monitoring appointments in 10 days, sometimes 3, meanwhile you do what is termed as “stimming” or stimulating your ovaries into making more follicles from which come the eggs you need to then retrieve. Well, not you. a Dr/RE does it.

“Stimming” sounds like drugs right? It is, drugs i mean, but not the fun kind. You don’t get sleepy or feel dizzy or out of it. You get moody, cranky, PMSish, emotional, your logic sometimes abandons you while you are standing there watching it leave. Like a bad boyfriend.

It’s not just pills either, it can be injections, in your stomach, in your butt. Often large and painful injections. In my case my husband took one look at the kit I was given by the Dr.  and said “I will throw up if I have to do that to you” and walked out of the room. See, sometimes the man’s logic just gets up and walks away too. Like a bad boyfriend.

Yesterday, the new “surprise” was that during my day 2 appointment there were no follicles. Zero. Which could be something, or it could be a complete fluke. My e2 and FSH were in the normal range but higher than usual so a little alarming. Either way, it was new, terrifying and anxiety inducing.  My options were to continue to monitor on day 8, and possibly come up with nothing or cancel the cycle completely. My first instinct was the cancel the cycle. And it’s what I told them I wanted to do, but now, after sleeping on it, or not really sleeping in my case, for peace of mind, I think I will go back on day 8 to see if anything has happened.