Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pregnant and loving it

Not much to report here, which is a good thing! I'm still nauseous; I would say it's actually getting worse. I wake up often in the middle of the night and need to eat crackers (and sometimes a snack... I wake up starving and have to eat NOW!). I'm exhausted all the time, and even though some days I can sleep for like 14 hours, other days it's almost impossible for me to get a good sleep. I pee a lot, crave chocolate milk and pickles (but not together, thank goodness) and my pants are getting tight. I have a bit of a belly already, though I know it's all bloating. And I love all of it!

Our ultrasound is on Tuesday, and after that I think I will ask my doctor for a prescription for Diclectin. Some days the nausea is so bad I can barely accomplish anything. I am thankful I am self employed, because I have a hard time working during the day and usually get things done for a few hours in the evening. However, while I will be thankful to get some relief, I also find it incredibly reassuring right now, which is why I'm not ready for it to go away just yet. I am so incredibly excited for our ultrasound and nervous too. Last pregnancy the news at our first ultrasound was not good (though it was easier to swallow as we were expecting it wouldn't be good news based on my hcg numbers). This time, things seem to be going in the right direction and I am so insanely happy... but I am also terrified it will go wrong. I try not to think about it for obvious reasons. I so badly want to see one (or two!) healthy heartbeats on that monitor.

Speaking of 2... my gut says I am having twins. What do you think?? Most family members and close friends say twins so far. I will be beyond thrilled with 1 or 2. If there's 3 I might have temporary heart failure!

My only pregnancy complaint (if you can call it that, more like a pregnancy annoyance) is that my lower back is bugging me from sleeping. Since about 4.5 weeks, if I lay flat on my back I sometimes get dizzy and feel faint. I know this is not normally an issue until much later in pregnancy, though I did read in one of my books that it affects some women from the get-go. Since then I have a avoided laying on my back, which is not easy! And sleeping on my sides all night (with no support) hurts my lower back. I tried my BFF Kelly's pregnancy pillow that she gave me, but it just made me hot (plus it has a pillow built in which I didn't like, and you have to turn over with it and rearrange yourself if you switch sides). I tried regular pillows but they just annoyed me. Finally, I found something someone had posted online about using two inexpensive body pillows. You put one in front, and one behind you (slightly under you to keep from rolling over and so you can lean against it), and that way when you roll over, you don't have to drag the pillows with you. It gives a lot of lower back support! It also makes it really easy to prop up just your right side a tiny bit, so you can still kind of lay on your back. Best $20 I ever spent! Our cats like them too, lol!

So that's my update for now. The next one will likely be on Tuesday. Eeeeeep!!!! :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Open wide!

So one thing on my to-do list now that I'm pregnant was to get in to the dentist for a cleaning. I have had 2 not-so-good experiences the last few years with each dentist I've tried, so I am embarrassed to admit it has been about 3 years between cleanings. One was the dentist himself, and the other was the office staff. But today I went to a new dentist and it was a MUCH better experience all around. Because I'm preggo, I couldn't get x-rays, but they still started the cleaning (top only; have to go back for the bottom in a coule of weeks) and did a full exam. I have 2 tiny cavities, but the dentist wants to wait until after I have given birth. I also had her examine my sore jaw, which has been bothering me since our IVF, and she suggested getting a nightguard made. I fully agreed, though I expected it to be major $$$. Luckily, my insurance will cover most of it so it will only cost me about $100. Yay!

Yesterday, I went to see my regular doc to discuss my anti-depressants now that I am pregnant. From experience, I am not at all comfortable going completely off of them, and my doctor agrees. She told me research is not definite one way or the other, but as far as they know, the risk to my baby(ies) is very low, and I could actually be harming them more by being off of it and struggling with anxiety and depression. So we are decreasing my dose slowly to what is most comfortable for me, and I will continue to stay on it.

Now that those pressing concerns have been dealt with, I just need to wait for the ultrasound and then my first OB appointment. I'm almost at 6 weeks!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Best day ever!

Today I had my second blood test. This time, I phoned the clinic on my way home from the blood lab at the Misercordia (Nate was driving, don't worry!) and left a message saying I had done the test so please let me know when they got the results. Only a few hours later, they called me and said my numbers were very strong and more than doubling every 48 hours. We were hoping to hear my hcg levels were at least around 2500-2900... and they were at 4413!!! That's a doubling time of approximately 28 hours! The nurse said based on that it's definitely possible there's more than one baby in there. We also received our first ultrasound date for April 5 at 12:45. I'll be just over 7 weeks then, and we'll be able to see how many little beans I have and they will be able to detect the heartbeat(s). After that ultrasound, I will receive my referral to my OB.

I've been very very nauseous today, and peeing like crazy which makes me happy. When you have been trying to have a baby for over 6 years, and have had miscarriages, nothing makes your day like feeling like you are truly pregnant. In fact, I was a bit worried over the weekend as my nausea and tender boobs had kind of eased up. Actually worried is an understatement thanks to my hormones. However, the nausea returned full force this morning and with those awesome blood test results, I'm feeling incredibly positive. Also, while I was worrying about not feeling sick (and poking my boobs to see if they hurt more yet), I did a bit of googling (BAD Katie!) and found a really great site on miscarriages. There was one section about disappearing symptoms and it said that it is normal for symptoms to come and go early on. Also, it said that chances are if someone were to miscarry, they would be feeling the symptoms until afterwards (which is true, as this happened to me last time we were pregnant and miscarried after being taken off of the support drugs; for a few days afterward I still "felt" pregnant).

My pants are already feeling a bit snug at 5 weeks, so I am living in my roomy jeans and yoga pants. I don't feel confident enough to buy mat pants (plus I feel a bit ridiculous even contemplating that at 5 weeks!) but one of my best girlfriends, Cathy, brought me some of her mat clothes on the weekend and there are several pairs of pants that will work great within the next few weeks and carry me through for a good while.

Another one of my best girlfriends, Kelly, brought me a beautiful gift basket full of stuff to pamper myself with as a congratulations. I can't wait to try everything out! Here is a picture of all the goodies:

Do I have great friends or what???

So far I haven't had many weird cravings, though I have plenty of aversions. The one semi-weird thing I have been devouring like crazy is pickles. I know. I'm embarrassed to even type that... I'm a walking pregnancy cliche! But I find the tart taste of the pickles helps counteract the nausea. That, and plenty of soda crackers and ginger-ale.

So that's the update on us. I love being pregnant, and I love the little baby(ies) inside of me so much it makes me well up even thinking about it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Finally... blood test results!!!

I waited allll day yesterday to get them to no avail, and FINALLY they called about 15 minutes ago. I am definitely pregnant, and the nurse said I have a nice high, strong number that indicates a viable pregnancy! WHOOO HOOO!!!! For those that the number means anything, it was 734 at 18dp3er (or 18dpo)! Last time, it was 88 at this point, and we ended up with a missed miscarriage. The number is within the range for both singleton and twin pregnancies, so we will just have to wait and see.

I go for one more blood test on Monday, as the nurse said they follow up until the hcg level is over 1000, and they want to make sure it is doubling as it should. The day I get those results I will get an u/s date!!!

Nate and I are soooo incredibly happy and excited. I am also still feeling barfy, crampy, bloated, sore boobs, and tired as can be. All good things!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Arrrgh stupid Edmonton clinic

One thing I love about the Calgary fertility clinic is that they call you back really quickly. Usually the same day, or at the latest, by noon the next day. In fact, I called them Sunday night to say I had a positive HPT and they called me back the next morning just to say congratulations and that they would wait to hear my blood test results before giving me further instructions. The Edmonton clinic not so much. I also called them Sunday night to tell them I tested positive on HPTs and needed to set up a blood test for Wednesday or Thursday, and I haven't heard back yet. It's driving me crazy... I just want this set up so I can go tomorrow for blood and then hear from the nurses "officially" that I am pregnant so we can proceed with booking the 7-8 week ultrasound. It is the Edmonton clinic that will monitor this pregnancy until after the ultrasound when I am transferred to my OB. Calgary will just be giving me medication instructions.

In the meantime, I may have tested both yesterday and this morning just too see those beautiful lines again *whistles innocently*.

I spent all day yesterday sicker than a dog. I've never been happier to feel so barfy! If I thought I experienced morning sickness with my other pregnancies, it was NOTHING like this. Today is better, but I still feel off and on nauseated. Today I also feel pinchy tugging sensations in my uterus. I'm taking advantage of feeling a bit better to get some work and minor chores done while I can.

That's the update for now, hopefully I hear from the clinic soon!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Holy crap!!! The fastest, darkest positives I have ever received in our long time trying to become parents. I am shaking writing this. I cannot believe it!!!

My mom woke me up around 8:25 to pee when she fed the dogs, then she sat on the bed with Nate while I tested. I was still on the toilet when Mom ran into hug me! LOL! Then I jumped into bed and hugged Nate. It was a very exciting morning. We couldn't go back to sleep, so we went out for breakfast which seemed like a good idea at the time, but as soon as it arrived it looked like barf on a plate to me. I've never been so happy to feel pukey and have a food aversions!!

Here's a picture of the proof at 11dp3dt (or 14dper):

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Side effects, symptoms, or am I just going crazy???

Probably a bit of everything. The past week has been tough. Every twinge in my uterus or ovaries, every sore boob, every bit of cramping, every hint of barfiness has me reeling. Some people tell me it's way too early for symptoms, some tell me that a few women have them right from the start of implantation.

To complicate matters, up until about yesterday, I had hcg in my system from the trigger shot (which is the hormone that HPTs pick up) and therefore the hormone that contributes to pregnancy symptoms. Both the Prometrium (progesterone suppositories) and the Estrace (estrogen) I am on could account for the other symptoms, and while I know all of this, I'm still hoping that every little thing that I feel means I'm pregnant.

I can't concentrate on anything. I'm tired. I'm emotional. Realllllly emotional. I can cry for no reason at all. I have sore boobs (off and on, mostly on). I have crazy bad dreams (and er, some rather good ones) and night sweats. I have some nausea. And you know what? I would gladly embrace all of these things and more if it was a guarantee that this worked. But it's not. So while the side effects/symptoms slowly drive me crazy, I still have to wait until the weekend to test.

There is absolutely no point to this post other than to get all of this out. My gut feeling says it worked. But we will have to wait a few more days to find out!

ARRRRGGGGHHH!!! And with that, I am off to do my relaxation CD...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sleep, sleep, and more sleep

That has been my schedule the last few days. Today I'm feeling a little less exhausted, which is good because I have Kelly's baby shower to go to in an hour or so.

The 2 week wait is already driving me crazy. I think it is time to start using the meditation breathing we learned in yoga! We have tentatively decided to test at home next Saturday or Sunday (13 or 14 dpo or in our case, dper). I originally thought maybe Friday, but I think that's just a bit too early, and then Nate would have to go to work and try to get work done regardless of the result.

I'm in the mindset this time that I am already pregnant, which technically, I am. I have 2 bundles of life inside of me, and really it's just a matter of them implanting and growing properly. Despite my anxiety to find out, I'm still feeling very positive. I have incredibly strong feelings that this is working, that this time we are going to be parents. Only time will tell!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

2 Perfect Embryos

The last 2 days has been kind of a whirlwind, so I haven't been able to update until now.

On Tuesday, between the retrieval and transfer, Nate and I had a couple's yoga session with Beth at HIHF. The focus of this session was to open up our chests while focusing on different breathing patterns. As simple as it sounds, I can't even begin to describe how relaxing this is. The position we were in also worked out all the stresses and kinks in our backs (we used bolsters) and she showed us some great neck stretches as well. After a crappy hotel bed for 10+ days, this felt like heaven! These exercises we can easily do as a couple, and it will keep us relaxed and feeling better throughout the next 2 weeks which will seem like the longest of our lives. It's perfectly safe to do while pregnant, and there is even emphasis on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles which I'll definitely need. Beth has a great energy about her, and she is so knowledgeable. We felt incredibly rejuvenated and relaxed afterwards, and I highly recommend the yoga therapy at HIHF. Not just for fertility reasons either!

After yoga, I had an acupuncture session with Christine. I had accidentally booked a session for Tuesday thinking that was when my pre-transfer treatment was supposed to be, but it turns out I needed to book one for right before the transfer and right after. However, there's only positive benefits from having more treatments, so I went ahead with the session anyways. Christine had some wonderful knowledge about foods to eat and avoid while in the 2 week wait and into pregnancy. After having yoga AND acupuncture, I was beyond relaxed and excited for the transfer the next day.

Wednesday morning, the day of the transfer, I called the embryologist to find out if I needed to continue with the Medrol. As a side note, Medrol is the WORST tasting medication I have ever had. I was close to throwing up every time I took it. You know how gross Gravol tastes? Yeah, this is like 1000 times worse, *shudder*. Thankfully, I didn't need to continue taking it as our thick shelled embryo had thinned out on its own and was looking good. So no assisted hatching was needed.

At 1:00, I had my pre-transfer acupuncture session with Gina at HIHF. It was wonderful as always (looove the acutonics she does!), and they even had the IVF Circle + Bloom CD playing for me during treatment. The pre-transfer session on that CD is awesome, so I was in a good place by the end of the treatment.

After that, Nate and I grabbed lunch and then headed to the clinic. They were running a bit behind, but by 3:50 or so we were in the room for the transfer. I don't recall being as bared to the world as I was this time (good thing I'm not shy!) and I didn't fill my bladder quite enough, but that didn't effect the procedure. The embryologist told us we had 2 PERFECT 8 cell embryos to transfer (yay!!!!) and 3 good looking embryos to freeze (triple yay!!!). That means our late fertilized egg ended up being freezable. Below is the picture of our 2 embryos that they gave us (their first baby picture!) as well as pics of Nate and I all dressed up in our gowns before the procedure:

After hanging out at the clinic for half an hour to let our precious embryos settle in, we headed back to HIHF for acupuncture with Courtney and a special simultaneous Reiki treatment with Laura. They made the perfect team, and their talents combined with the Circle + Bloom CD playing again in the background made the entire treatment very powerful. I could just feel the positive energy surrounding me, and I was in a state beyond relaxation. I'm so very glad I found HIHF... they have made this IVF an entirely different experience for me than our last one, and I cannot say enough good things about every single one of the women who work there. I've been telling my mom all about it, and we are going to try and plan a day trip up there sometime in the future. It's so worth it!

After our crazy day, it was finally time to head back to the hotel. As I packed the last of our stuff, I got a text from Jodie & Greg (Nate's cousin and his wife who we are very close to) and they had their baby girl, Alysa Rayne, earlier in the day. Talk about a good day! 1 baby out, and (hopefully) 2 babies in! We are over the moon for them, and can't wait to meet her when we head to Vancouver sometime this spring.

While Nate loaded up the truck, I checked us out of the hotel (they gave me a weird look for checking out at 7:30 pm but we REALLY wanted our own bed), and then we loaded up the pugs and were on our way. We arrived home around 11 pm, and it was so wonderful to see Mom and all of our kitties. Our bed has never felt so heavenly... I missed home so much!

I have spent most of today in bed sleeping as my body has been through an awful lot lately and I am beyond exhausted. I also think that the intense treatments I had yesterday at HIHF have had an effect as well, as I'm just all over relaxed and feeling good.

The next 2 weeks of waiting are going to suck, but I feel incredibly positive about this cycle and I just know this is going to work for us. Thank-you to all our friends and family who gave your support through this. We love you all!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

4 little embryos and an extra fertilized egg!

So we just got our update call. Out of the 5, one embryo is falling apart so will not be good to transfer, 1 is looking okay (but not great) and there are 3 excellent quality embryos. One of the good quality embryos has a thicker shell, which means it may be a candidate for assisted embryo hatching. To assist the embryo in hatching, the embryologist makes a tiny hole in the thicker outer shell to give it a much better chance of implantation. Because of this, I need to start taking a medication called Medrol, which will ensure that my body doesn't treat the assisted embryo as a foreign object. I will find out for sure tomorrow morning if I am to continue taking the meds if assisted hatching is indeed needed.

And then of course there is our borderline mature egg that grew up and decided to fertilize! We won't know it's status until tomorrow, but if it looks good, we will be able to freeze that one as well. So far it's looking like there will be 2 to transfer and 1 or 2 to freeze. They won't transfer more than 2 good quality embryos because of my age and the fact that I did get pregnant last time.

We're definitely excited, but also terrified.We just want our precious little embryos to keep doing well. The transfer is scheduled for 3:30 tomorrow, and after that I will have acupuncture and then we will finally head home! Yay!!!