Thursday, June 29, 2006

Off again

I'm heading out of town for the weekend again, this time to the in-laws, where I most definitely will not be posting or reading blogs--can't risk it. I'll be back after the 4th, but in the meantime, I leave you with this quote from Little Earthquakes, which I just started reading (had been wanting to read it for a while, but am only now feeling able to read a book about pregnant women):

"It was like a bad joke," Kelly said...."My mother got pregnant every time she so much as looked at my dad, my sister Mary's completely fertile, and it took us six months of trying, and Clomid."

Six months?!? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (To the author's credit, another character immediately points out that six months is average and does not constitute a fertility "problem.")

See you next week, my chickens. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


It occurred to me that my last post could have come off as a bit cocky, or at least overconfident--counting my chickens before their heartbeats hatch, so to speak. I know (as do all of us who read IF blogs regularly, especially anyone who's been around all the heartbreak of the last few months) that everything can go to hell in an instant. A yolk sac and fetal pole are no guarantees of a viable pregnancy--hell, even seeing a heartbeat doesn't guarantee you'll still be pregnant a week later. But I am trying--oh, how I am trying--to just enjoy this, to be optimistic, to assume the best rather than the worst. To speak of seeing the heartbeat, or being released to my OB, as things that will happen, not things that might happen.

Over the last couple of weeks, one of my coworkers has said to me, more than once, that I look "sad" or "forlorn" and is anything wrong? I thought it was ironic, considering I have had plenty of cause for elation these past weeks. But I guess my mute terror is leaking out onto my face at unexpected moments.


I was looking through my big fat file of infertility-related crap, and I realized that two years ago yesterday, I took my last birth-control pill. (I know this because I immediately embarked on the rollercoaster of charting...ugh.) There's a kind of poetic justice to the fact that exactly two years later, I had my 6w1d ultrasound.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Progress report

At this morning's ultrasound, we saw:

• gestational sac, bigger and better than before
• yolk sac, circular and gorgeous
• a little nubbin thingumajig, which Dr. SF said was...the fetus! (I guess technically it's still an embryo, but fetus was the word he used...I get the feeling Dr. SF is not too interested in what happens after one gets pregnant. :) )

No heartbeat yet, but we weren't expecting to see that this week anyway. (I'm 6w1d today.) Last week Dr. SF had said I'd come in every week until 8 weeks, but since everything is looking good, and no late-implanting twin has shown up, he wants me to come back to the clinic just one more time, next Thursday (7w4d). Provided we see the heartbeat then, I'll get booted to my regular ob/gyn. (And not a moment too soon, since I just learned my clinic will stop accepting my insurance starting in August.) I'll stay on the Metformin at least until we see the heartbeat, and probably stop then.

It hit me that now I actually have to make a decision about hospital/OB/etc. I'm freaking out. A lot. But so, so happy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane

(Wow, could that be a more cliched post title? I'm sure at least 500 other people have titled posts this way. But I'm too lazy to think of something better.)

I'm going on a business trip, returning on Sunday, so I'll be out of bloggy touch for several days. But I'll be sure to report back on Monday with the results of my 6w ultrasound (or, I guess it will be 6w1d? or 6w2d? I am already confused by all the dates). Fingers crossed...

(You can skip the rest of this if you want--boring bloating and other symptom updates, mostly for my own future reference.)

I've been feeling much better over the past week. I think last week Tuesday (day of my second beta) was the low point--most bloated, in pain, short of breath. I even had a little heartburn in there somewhere. Toward the end of the week things started to improve--bloating went down a little, my energy level improved, and by Friday or Saturday I was even able to move more or less normally, with minimal or no pain. (I had been hobbling around, hunched over to spare my strained abdominal muscles, wincing at sudden movements, taking the bus or cabs for distances as short as three blocks, etc.) Of course, this made me worry--since my only physical experience of pregnancy so far had been of severe discomfort, feeling normal, or at least better, made me think there was something wrong. But Monday's ultrasound and bloodwork were fine, so I have to trust that things are more or less OK, even as I continue to feel better and better. I still can't fit into any of my pants (I went to 0ld N@vy on Sunday and bought a bunch of stretchy skirts and blousy tops for concealment purposes), and when I lie on my left side it still feels like all my organs are sliding out of place, but my abs don't hurt anymore, and my belly button is starting to return to its normal pucker from the stretched-out slit it has been for the past couple of weeks.

By the way, I was in a meeting when the nurse called me about Monday's bloodwork, so I couldn't ask her what the exact numbers were. She didn't leave them in the message--just said everything was fine--and, shockingly, I did NOT call back and pester her for the numbers. I'd like to think this is a sign of maturity and chilled-out-ness on my part, but who am I kidding? Of course I'll ask when I get this coming Monday's results.

Other nausea or aversions yet. I have had a constant craving for salty, acidic foods (so yeah...pickles. could I be more cliche?) but am trying not to indulge too much, since the last thing I need right now is more water retention. My boobs still hurt, though less aggressively than before--the discomfort seems to be concentrated in the nipple area.

Oh, here's a weird one--in addition to the sore boobs, I have little sore lumps in my armpits. I know that sounds bad, but I've always gotten these lumps whenever I have sore boobs, like when I have PMS. Years ago I asked my fabulous former gynecologist about them (sadly, she no longer takes insurance, or I would still be seeing her), and after feeling around for a bit, she told me that the lumps were actually rogue breast tissue. Apparently, many of us have a line of breast tissue running from our armpits, down through our actual breasts, down to the groin. That's why some people have extra nipples (and that's why said third nipples are usually located directly below a regular nipple). She explained that I must have a little breast tissue in my armpit, and so it responded to the same hormonal changes that affected my boobs. Usually it only affects the right side, but right now I've got soreness on both sides--which makes sense, I guess, because my boobs have also never been quite this sore before. I suppose if it continues I will need to mention it to a doctor at some point along the way, but I'm trying not to be too hypochondriacal right now.

Enough medical freakiness. Have good weeks and weekends, everyone, and take care of yourselves.

Monday, June 19, 2006

One is the loveliest number

This morning's ultrasound revealed a single gestational sac, "perfectly placed" (according to Dr. SF) at the top of my uterus. That's one sac, folks. ONE.

In case you missed it the first 8,952 times I've obsessed about it here, with a unicornuate uterus, multiples are, shall we say, less than desirable. So I am very relieved.

The ultrasound itself was a bit anticlimactic. Dr. SF stuck the wand in, took a look at my GIGANTIC ovaries (he said it will probably take about three more weeks for the bloating to go away--aaugh!), then looked around the whole uterus several times to make sure he wasn't missing a second sac. The sac itself was just a dark smudge on the screen--I wouldn't have even been able to tell anything was there if Dr. SF hadn't pointed it out. He didn't measure it or anything, but I assume the size looked fine to him.

Apparently I will go back once a week until I'm at eight weeks. Since I'm now 5 weeks, that means I get THREE more ultrasounds before I'm released to an OB! (Sorry, Robbie.) Next week we will hopefully see a yolk sac, Dr. SF said, and the week after that the heartbeat.

Dr. SF said I should start thinking about where I want to deliver, so he can refer me to an OB at the appropriate hospital. Yikes. I am sooo not ready to tempt fate like that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

To tell or not to tell

Way back when my husband and I started "trying," we had a discussion about when we would start telling people that I was knocked up, if such a miraculous event might actually occur. I had always thought I wouldn't want to tell anyone, not even family, until the first trimester was over. My husband, on the other hand, was of the call-everyone-you-know-before-the-pee-stick-is-dry school. We hashed it out, and eventually settled on a compromise: Tell immediate family and close friends (as Julie once wisely put it, everyone whose support we'd want in case of something going wrong) after we saw a heartbeat on ultrasound; tell everyone else after the first trimester. ("Compromise" sounds so civilized--actually, it was more like my husband saying in exasperation, "Fine, just tell me when I'm allowed to say anything.")

When we got the first real confirmation that, you know, something good might be happening, we reaffirmed this plan. (Of course, I made an exception for my friends inside the computer.)

We lasted one day.

My husband cracked first. Monday afternoon, he called me at work, all sheepish and apologetic. "I told M," he said. "I couldn't help it, I was dying, I had to tell someone." M is a friend of ours who lives on the other side of the country and is not in touch with any of our other friends or family. So, okay, I gave him that one. He didn't have the friends-inside-the-computer outlet that I have.

Then yesterday, a few hours after I got the results of my second beta, my friend F called.* She's one of the few people who know about our infertility issues, and she knew I was doing injectibles. When she asked how it was going, I paused for a second, then broke down and told her. I started crying when I said the words, I couldn't believe they were coming out of my mouth.

So since the seal had already been broken, after much discussion, my husband and I decided to go ahead and tell our parents and siblings now. We called them all last night--our parents were overjoyed, of course. We warned them that it was still way too early to tell anyone else (MIL: "So what are you, a few months?" Husband: "No Mom, a few weeks.") but that we wanted them to know.

It was the right thing for us, I know. (Your situation and preferences may be quite different, of course.) Our logic: Would it be any less painful to get bad news if no one else knew? No. Would it be any less painful at next week's ultrasound versus the week after versus the week after that? No. And if something does happen (again, as Julie put it so well--wish I could find the post), I at least want there to be some acknowledgment that, for a short time at least, this ray of hope existed.

The next hurdle is a family wedding this weekend, where I must try to conceal my ridiculous bloat and evade nosy questions. I'm also concerned about how much longer it will be before someone at work notices and says something. My husband had a novel suggestion: If anyone asks if I'm pregnant, I should say that I'm bloated from fertility treatments. This is technically true, and has the bonus advantage of making the other person feel really crappy for asking! Not sure I can stomach outing myself to nosy relatives like that, though. Seems like it might just invite other unwanted questions and comments.

*F and I talked about the night I wrote about in that post--she said she had a sense how rough it was for me, and she didn't know what to do, and she felt so terrible for not being a more sensitive friend. I told her the truth, which is that my whole life had become about not being pregnant, and there wasn't anything she or anyone could have done to have made that better for me. So we're okay now, more or less.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Still here

Beta hCG = 261. Not quite as doublicious as I'd hoped (I calculated a doubling time of 56.6 hours), but the nurse said it was fine. My progesterone was >40; at this point, my clinic likes to see anything over 25, so that's good. I will attempt not to obsess over the numbers. (Ha!)

First ultrasound is on Monday, which I think will be 5w2d. MONDAY!!! Thank goodness, because I don't think I could take waiting another two weeks for more information. I'll get a third beta then, too. If all goes well I go in every week for the next few weeks.

"How are you doing?" the nurse asked me during the post-blood-draw consultation I had this morning.

"Okay. A little freaked out," I said.

She laughed a little. "Isn't this what you wanted?"

"Yeah, but now there's a whole new set of things to worry about," I replied. To which she could only agree.

The bloating continues to be a problem. I don't have a scale, so I can't weigh myself, but I've been measuring my girth several times a day, and generally I balloon 1.5-2.5 inches during the course of the day. (The bloat goes back down overnight, only to begin anew the next day.) Overall, I've gained three inches around my waist in the past week. My abdominal muscles are incredibly sore (from, I don't know...all the stretching?), so sudden movements are a bit painful. Dressing is a challenge, not just for comfort reasons, but because I would really prefer not to look gigantically pregnant right now. (Really, at my most bloated I look about as pregnant as my 20-weeks-pregnant coworker.) I spent about an hour on Sunday night trying on everything I own in a desperate attempt to find something that would disguise my belly. It's all about blazers and loose-fitting cardigans, I've discovered. The problem, though, is that things fit in the morning, but are straining at the seams by the end of my workday.

In the last few days, I've also become a little short of breath whenever I exert myself--being on my feet for more than ten minutes, for example, wipes me out, which is a problem considering I walk and take the subway everywhere. The nurse ordered me to keep drinking lots of fluids, and if at any point I stop peeing, or the shortness of breath worsens--basically, if I get any worse than I am today, in any way--I need to call them immediately and come in to have my abdomen tapped, to drain off some of the fluid. "If we're not open, you need to go to the emergency room," she said sternly. Yikes. Of course I don't want to get any more bloated, nor do I want to be sick, or have someone stick a giant needle in my belly...but there is something appealing about the idea of having all the bloat drained right out of me. I asked how long it would take for the bloating to go down, and she said, "Well, you're just waiting for the gonadotropins to clear out of your system, but of course now you're pregnant, and you have those pregnancy hormones, so you'll get pregnancy bloating from that."

Pregnant. I am pregnant. I don't think I'll ever get used to using that word.

My husband has been pretty adorable about this. On Sunday, when I got the call, I couldn't stop smiling when I got off the phone. He was, characteristically, quiet. "Aren't you excited?" I said, poking him in the arm. "I'm cautiously optimistic," he said. But later that afternoon, he roused me off the couch, where I was, uh, resting my eyes, to say, "Come on, let's take a picture."

"Now?" I whined. "I'm wearing my glasses, my hair's a mess, I just woke up, I look terrible."

"Yes, now."

He wanted to take a picture of us on the day we (officially) found out I was pregnant.

I hope, I hope, I hope...well, you know what I hope. It is so, so early, and there are so many things to worry about. I will try to remain calm until Monday.

Thank you so, so much for all the good wishes and congratulations over the last few days. Your support means everything to me.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Starting to believe

Beta hCG = 145

Repeat blood test on Tuesday.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Second verse, same as the first

Today's FRER showed exactly the same result as yesterday's. Exactly. In my paranoia, I thought the second line on today's was actually a little lighter than yesterday's, if that's even possible, but when I compared the two side by side (shut up yes I saved my pee stick DON'T JUDGE ME), they were identical.

12dpiui. I'm, um, cautiously optimistic. Will continue peeing on things until Sunday's beta, hoping for darker lines.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


"When are you going to test?" my husband asked me Monday night.

"I told you, I think Saturday morning. They actually said not to test until Sunday, but I think Saturday is waiting long enough."

"I can't believe you haven't tested yet. That's so not like you."

"It's way too early. It's only been eight days since the insemination." [Long explanation of hCG levels in pregnancy, implantation, trigger shot, etc. followed. Around here, my husband focuses on his part of the job and leaves the details to me. At one point, I actually had to email him the url of a video explaining the menstrual cycle.]

"How about Friday, then? or Thursday? Wednesday? You should test now!"

"IT'S TOO EARLY. Besides, I don't even have any pregnancy tests."

"That's really not like you."

"You're actually more eager to find out if this worked than I am, aren't you?"

"...I'm just curious. Aren't you curious?"

"OK, fine. I'll test Thursday. But I'm warning you, it might be too early still." [Long explanation of false negative, etc.]

"OK, Thursday morning. Or how about Wednesday night?"


So last night I stopped off at the drugstore and bought two boxes of FRERs. They had the ones with the bonus third stick, and I couldn't resist--I figured, no matter how it turned out, I'd want to POAS every day at least until beta day (Sunday); worst case scenario, I'd use them on my next cycle.

This morning, 11dpiui, I woke up at 4 am, as is my new habit. I managed to force myself back to sort-of sleep for an hour or so, but by 5:30 I was wide awake, going over all the possibilities (okay, obsessing). The best result would obviously be a very strong positive--then I could be reasonably sure it wasn't leftover hCG from my Ovidrel shot, 13 days ago. A negative would suck, but at least I'd know the trigger was out of my system, and it was still early enough that it might be a false negative--I'd just have to test again tomorrow. The most confusing possible result would be a very faint positive. Then it could be either leftover trigger (I think unlikely, after 13 days, but still very possible), or very early pregnancy.

At 6:15, I could take it no longer, and stumbled into the bathroom to do my thing. Guess what the result was?

DING DING DING! All those who answered (c), we have some lovely prizes for you! There was definitely a second line, no doubt at all about that--I've stared at enough completely negative tests to know the difference--but it was very, very, faint. Paler than pale. I rushed back into the bedroom, pee stick in hand, and prodded my husband awake. "It's positive, but only just. I'm going to have to test tomorrow to be sure." "Um hm," he said, rolling over.

In other news, I'm still bloated up like a beach ball. I was so desperate to get things moving last night that I drank a couple glasses of prune juice--let's just say it worked a little too well. Go easy on the prune juice, kids. I also had a lot of cramping, but I think the prune juice might have had a lot to do with that. But my husband was alarmed enough by my size to insist that I call the clinic this morning, so as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to do that--just in case. ***UPDATE: Nurse said that since my urine is clear and of normal volume, and I'm not nauseated or vomiting, I'm probably okay, but I should watch for those signs and call back if any of them appear.


And finally, something that's not about me, my uterus, and me me me: After all the bad news we've had in the blogosphere lately, it's nice to finally have some good news. Tori Anne is here! If you haven't already, head over to Cecily's and congratulate her on the arrival of what is possibly the most hotly anticipated baby on the planet, after Sh!loh Jol!e-P!tt.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


10dpiui and that's how I'm feeling. The stress dreams continue, and I've been waking up at 4 am every day. That combined with what I can only assume is a rush of hormones (this theory gently suggested by my husband as I pouted on the couch the other night) and a busy week at work (though I am of course incapable of concentrating) make for one very tired, crabby girl.

And Hope, that slut, keeps barging in uninvited. (Apparently our cat's pest-control skills are limited to mice and cockroaches.) My boobs have been getting sorer again, especially at the end of the day. And I've been having these weird crampy/achy pains in my lower abdomen. Round ligament pain? (I looked it up and the pains are in the right place.) Uterus preparing to expel its contents in a river of gore? Backed-up colon screaming in protest? Who knows?

I've also been very clumsy, which according to folklore among my friends is a sign of pregnancy, or possibly PMS--could be either! Yesterday I refilled the cat's water dish and promptly spilled half of it...on her head. She was not amused.

I'm still as bloated as ever--possibly even more than last week. So much so that I actually started to be concerned that I might have mild OHSS, but I don't seem to have any of the other symptoms. Today I'm wearing a pair of low-slung pants that are ordinarily so loose on me that one sharp tug would pull them right down over my hips. Right now, my belly is straining against the waistband. Seriously, I look about four months pregnant. I've also got that weird sensation of internal organs jostling against each other that I had the day of my IUI. So, is the bloat due to OHSS? Uterus expanding to accommodate a new guest (down, Hope, you bitch!)? That good old colon again? (Constipation, the gift that keeps on giving!) Or a combination?

Sigh. I just want this wait to be over. By this weekend, I hope I'll know something.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Dream weaver

You know how I was bragging about being so relaxed and mellow about this 2ww? Yeah, my subconscious would beg to disagree. Every night for the past three nights I have had a pregnancy/testing-related anxiety dream.

Friday night I dreamed I peed on a stick. (Why yes, my dreams are always this thrilling, why do you ask?) And it was positive! But I didn't believe it, so I kept peeing on more, until I had 10 double-lined FRERs arranged all over my bathroom counter. I would like to think that this is a comic exaggeration of how I would behave if I got a positive in real life...but sadly, no.

Saturday night I dreamed we were forced to undergo mandatory pregnancy testing at work. My results were inconclusive. (I believe the weird-looking high-tech thing I had to pee on had one and a half lines. Huh?)

Last night I dreamed that I was getting ready to tell my boss I was pregnant, and it was causing me huge amounts of stress. Obviously I must have some issues with revealing my reproductive status at work. I'm not sure why--I happen to have The Best Job In The World (TM), with a fantastic boss and a family-friendly atmosphere. But there you go--anxiety galore, bubbling up in my sleep.

SymptomWatch: Breast soreness has subsided a little, which I assume is the trigger shot leaving my system. Bloating and tenderness also subsiding. Constipation continues apace. I've been on metformin for seven months, so honestly, I didn't know it was even possible for me to ever be constipated again. But there you have it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

SymptomWatch06: Definitely TMI

Today, at 5dpiui, I am enjoying the following:

1. The sorest boobs in the world, requiring them to be encased in stiff, padded, molded-cup bras so as to prevent anyone or anything from coming anywhere near them.

2. Abdominal bloating, resulting in an attractive muffin top spilling over the waistband of my jeans. (Side note: I find this sentence, from the above link, inexplicably hilarious: "Jeans are usually considered a slimming article of clothing, but when improperly sized give the illusion of being fat." Yes. Yes, that is true.) Unfortunately, last winter, in a fit of organizational mania (aka fuck-it-I'm-never-getting-pregnant-anyway frustration), I got rid of all my fat pants, so I must suffer.

3. Continued tenderness in the ovarian vicinity. How long is this supposed to last, anyway? It's subsided a lot, but still makes running across the street (before the light changes) a bit uncomfortable.

4. A lovely smattering of zits across my forehead and cheeks. Normally my post-O breakouts are around my nose and chin, so I can only conclude that the extra follicles this month gave my hormones a special boost.

5. Epic constipation. Let's just leave it at that. I don't think it's related to the IUI or the other symptoms, other than contributing to #2, but it sure doesn't make my life any more fun. ETA: After consulting Dr. Google, I see that progesterone can cause constipation. More zits and constipation--progesterone is awesome! Whee!

I also saw on the toilet paper this morning, the teeniest, tiniest, palest brown bit of spotting ever. It's a little early for implantation bleeding, but you never know...

I know this is going to sound hard to believe, but until today, I actually had no idea when I was scheduled to have my beta--no one at my clinic bothered to tell me specifically--and even more astonishingly, I wasn't all that anxious about it. I finally called the clinic this morning to ask. (Sunday, the 11th, in case you were wondering.) I've pretty much decided to POAS on the 10th, which will be 13dpiui.

I'm feeling shockingly relaxed about this 2ww. Of course, by mid-week next week I may be going crazy with anticipation, but for now, I'm just going with the flow.