Sunday, December 28, 2014

This has been a rough week...

My uncle passed quite suddenly on Friday, the day after Christmas. We knew he was ill and the doctors had told him he had to stop drinking if he wanted to live. Apparently, he chose not too. He was admitted to the hospital Christmas day. A vein had burst in his badly damaged esophagus and filled his lungs and stomach with blood. They had to give him 6 pints of blood, nearly your entire supply. They banded his esophagus to help hold it together and patched the vein. They placed him in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator in ICU. We thought he was in critical, but stable condition. In the night the vein began leaking again, causing them to transfuse two more units of blood. And his organs began shutting down. I'm so thankful we were able to rush to the hospital and say our goodbyes as the doctor advised us to remove the vent and go with "comfort measures" to let him pass peacefully. They thought we might have a few hours more. As soon as they removed the vent, he passed. But he was surrounded by family and at peace.

Losing a family member is hard. Losing them suddenly is awful. He was my closest uncle. Only ten years older than I. I have so many great memories and I'm so thankful my sister and I got some time alone in his room to remember them out loud and let him know that we loved him and will miss him. I hope that he heard us.

To make matters worse, so far the home pregnancy tests have all been negative. I don't think I've stopped crying since Friday. Well, not for long anyway. We have our Beta blood test tomorrow, and yes, there is a chance it could still be positive, but my gut tells me it won't be. I always had this feeling with my own children when I was pregnant. I know it sounds totally crazy, but it was almost like I could sense their presence. I had that feeling Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I woke up Tuesday morning and it was gone. I was too afraid to take an hpt until Friday. Then I figured the day was already sucking, why not? Since then I've done seven, three different brands, all negative.

I need to call my IPs tonight and give them a heads up. I'm dreading it. But surely knowing what to expect tomorrow is better than false hope. And I know in my head that it's not my fault. My body responded perfectly to the meds, my uterus and lining looked great, I did everything I could find on line to do to help my fertility and encourage the embryos to implant. But since they are friends, I still feel like I let them down. What if I am too old? What if I am to heavy? What if it was those damn natural killer cells? The "What if's" abound. More likely it was the egg quality of the frozen eggs and the fact the clinic had very little experience with frozen donor eggs. But my heart still hurts.

We'd already planned for a second and possibly third transfer so I know we'll keep trying. I'm trying to find silver linings. I won't be quite as pregnant for my conferences if we don't get pregnant til next time. I can go visit my son next month and be able to have wine and sushi with him. I can stop the shots for a while (my hips will thank me). And I won't be quite as pregnant and miserable in the summer, so there's that.

Well, I wish I'd had better news. I'll update tomorrow with my Beta results and our next steps.

I sincerely hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Transfer Update

We transferred two five day embryos on Saturday the 20th of December. It was a very good day. I drove to my IP's house that morning and they drove me to the clinic in St. Louis. Waiting in the back were my two nurses and the doctor. As we walked back I said, "Let's knock me up!" They laughed. And then we all laughed about the fact I was being impregnated by a room full of women. They gave me a Valium and a hospital gown. Lol. Then my friend and I went in to the transfer room. The whole thing took about 5 minutes start to finish, and while a little intense, was not painful at all. My friend took pictures the whole time. Don't worry, I was covered.

Then they wheeled me back into recovery and her husband joined us, we made a lot of jokes because I'd heard laughter helps implantation. It's probably just the good mood and positive vibes that help those babies want to stick around, but I'm willing to try anything. After laying flat for 20 minutes they let me get up and pee (thank goodness!) and get dressed and we left. Yep, that was all there was to it.

My friend had a couple of stops to make in St. Louis but I stayed in the car until Target. We don't have a Target near us, so I couldn't resist. And the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) had made it clear she didn't recommend bed rest. So we spent about twenty minutes in Target and then had lunch at Chick Fillet. After that we drove back home and I drove home from there. Mike and I had some dinner and I fell asleep trying to watch a movie. Must have been that Valium.

Do I feel any different? It's so hard to say. The progesterone fools your body into thinking it's pregnant anyway, so I already had symptoms: extreme tiredness, sore boobs, and hunger. Seriously, I feel like all I think about is food and sleep. The only difference is a slight headache which I always got when pregnant. And some mild nausea. I'd think it's too soon for that, but you never know. I'm dying to pee on a stick (home pregnancy test), but don't want to get discouraged by negatives and it's definitely way early for that. Technically today I'm 3 weeks and two days pregnant. My blood hcg test is on Monday the 29th, but that seems soooo far away! If it's positive, I'll have another on the 31st to be sure the numbers are doubling like they should and then a viability u/s in mid January to be sure the baby has a heartbeat and if there's one or two.

Please keep your fingers crossed for us. I will feel so awful if this transfer doesn't work. Even though I know it's nothing I did. In fact I've done everything I can to ensure a pregnancy. But I have no experience with infertility or miscarriages so I'll still feel guilty. Also, since it's one of my best friends I'll be grieving with their family too. Oh, we'll try again, but it would just be better to have success this time!

Everyone have an awesome Christmas or whatever Holiday you celebrate. My folks and sister's family will be here from out of town in a few hours. CJ (my oldest son) will be too. I've got a few things to do before then, but I'm really excited. I'll update you after the holidays and hopefully I'll have good news!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Quick update!

Remember how worried I was about Hooha hives? No hives! Yay! Apparently I am not allergic to that antibiotic. Huge sigh of relief.

Also, I started my Progesterone in Sesame Oil shots Sunday night. So far, no problems. I draw the shot up, but Mike gives it to me and so far it doesn't hurt. I don't seem to feel it anymore than I do the Estradiol shot. I've put heat on my hip afterwards both nights and it's never sore, no bruising. I'm happy. Could be because I have a bigger butt than most. Whatever. Works for me. The only side effect I see is the Progesterone makes me sleepy. I've slept great both nights and even slept in like an hour and a half today. Thank goodness I don't have to take them in the morning!

We find out today how many embryos thawed well and fertilized. Very excited. Fingers crossed for at least four to six good guys, just in case the first transfer doesn't work.

My fertility bracelet hasn't arrived yet and I'm kind of bummed about that, but there are still a few days left. I'm getting my mani pedi tomorrow and will be getting green polish for good luck. I'm also going to pick up a pineapple and get started eating it. Apparently the Bromelain in the core assists in implantation. I figure it sure can't hurt. The doctor's office also suggests you have sex the night before. I had a conversation with my IM about it, since I think the contract says no sex for a week before and a couple after. She said if the doctor recommends and you want to go ahead. My husband is pretty happy about this development.

So really I'm just trying to get the last of my Christmas stuff finished up and get ready for Baby Saturday!!

Wish me luck! And sticky baby dust!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Just one week pre transfer!

So we transfer a week from tomorrow and I'm scared, nervous, excited, nauseous, and stunned. All of those things in one big knot in my stomach. I've never felt so pressured to perform in my life. Especially with something I have so little control over, well, okay, no control over. C'mon uterus, don't fail me now!

Anyway, I have some sort of respiratory crud going on. I think I caught it from my Dad, who was here over the weekend and was ill. Normally, I probably would have been fine with my constant hand washing and staying well away from him, but since I'm on the steroids for the transfer my immune system is suppressed and there must have been a chink in the armor. I only had a cough for a few days, but now it's added the runny, stuffy nose, and my head is killing me.

The good news is I got my med calendar for this next week and I start antibiotics on Sunday. Zithromax, which they usually give me for bronchitis or pneumonia anyway. So if it's not just viral (which it should be since my dad got over it with no antibiotics and he had a raging fever), the antibiotics should kick it to the curb.

The bad news is I start the PIO (Progesterone in oil) shots that everyone complains about on Sunday. They say they hurt, leave lumps, and have yucky side effects. I'm so excited (read sarcastically, please.) Though my nurse assures me that if I'm not having any pain with the estrogen shots (I'm not), then I probably won't have much with these, that the pain is usually from incorrect placement. Hmmm, we'll see. I'll keep you posted.

BUT, the thing I'm super, absurdly worried about does not involve needles at all. It's another antibiotic, Clindamyacin, which comes in the form of a vaginal suppository. That's right, I'm going to stick this thing in my hooha three nights in a row before bed. What's the problem, you ask? Surely, by 44 (within spitting distance now of 45) I'm familiar enough with my body that inserting a suppository is no big deal? No, that's not the big deal. Neither is the um, discharge issue I've heard about. The problem is that I tend to have allergies to antibiotics. Big time allergies. And I don't think I've had Clindamyacin before, so I don't know if I'll have a reaction to it. My typical allergic reactions to antibiotics are: hives, stomach cramps, tight chest, breathing problems. And necessitate a trip to the ER for emergency breathing treatments, steroids, and sometimes epinephrine injections. No fun. And I can't imagine the hives originating in the hooha, can you?

And, to make me even more nervous, I start the suppositories the night of the 14th, like two hours before my birthday. Those of you who are friends, or blog readers of mine, will realize that my birthdays are not always the luckiest of days for me. They have included in the past: trips to the ER, car accidents, travel delays, and being mistaken for a fugitive. Can you understand my concern??

So I'm just going to try to breathe deep, relax, and maybe have a few drinks this weekend...

Wish me luck...


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Almost there...

Yesterday I had a lining check ultrasound and more blood work. The doctor said she wanted my lining to be around a 9. When she checked, I was up to 12.5 and triple striped. Go uterus! It's nice and fluffy in there and should be ready to receive the embryos on the 20th. My estrogen level was at 415 and they'd like that a little higher so she increased the dosage for my shots. Other than that my meds schedule stayed the same for this week.

I received my intralipid infusion to help combat the natural killer cells so they don't target the embryos. It was no big deal, just supremely boring. And the gurney had no padding so my butt hurt pretty bad. Lol.

This means we are a total go for the transfer on the 20th and I'm super excited. And nervous. Not about the procedure, just about whether it works or not. I know how devastated my IPs will be if it doesn't, and I know I will be too.

Until the meds change there's not much else to do except continue quietly building lining and estrogen levels. Luckily, I'm still not seeing any side effects from the meds. We'll see if that continues once they add the dreaded progesterone.

In other news, I woke up congested and coughing. I see a nap in my future...


PS- did I mention how excited I am for all this??