Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Now the real work begins

So, aside from the point at the appointment where my blood pressure skyrocketed to 140/82 (fuuuuuckkkk).... We have a viable embryo. Measuring 6 weeks 5 days (and I was 6+5 walking in the door). With a heart rate of 125bpm.  There's also no sign of any clot or bleed or SCH, so the bleeding scare from last week is being chalked up to the unknown.  I could feel the Viking's posture relax behind me as I stared at the monitor.

Now I need an OB. Or MFM. Or someone who isn't over an hour drive to see me regularly. Generally the RE would release me between 8 and 11 weeks but since I'm out of state we all agree that finding someone local would make life easiest for me. I think realistically I have one more scan at this office, but the sooner I can transition out the better.

Right now I'm on an amtrak to NYC for a day of meetings, then rushing back so I can ferry the Nibble to her ballet rehearsal. Somewhere during this day I have to get myself a new doctor. Ideally Dr. W, the MFM who delivers and has saved many an asherman's friend of mine from incompetent cervix. If not her, then perhaps Dr. M, a lady who I hear is kinda mean, but competent. After a year of Dr. Cuddles, I have pretty thick skin.

I could still miscarry, I'm just approaching 7 weeks now. But I think it's time to make the move.

Friday, May 26, 2017

bread. and more bread. and a little rice too.

So, whether I'm carrying a viable pregnancy or not, my current eating habits are, umm troubling.  Here's my confessional:

I feel pretty sick.  (Yay?)  I mean, this nausea is intense. Getting out of bed in the morning is a slog, I'm queasy and lightheaded.  And my appetite, well, it's the appetite of a pregnant person.

For the past few days, I've been eating really tiny meals, the problem is they're all really tiny starch based meals.  Rice.  Bread.  A muffin.  A little gnocchi with butter last night, because I have reverted to the taste of a 5 year old.

See the problem here?

My nutritional counselor had advised that I put myself on a gestational diabetes diet as soon as I am pregnant, just to be safe.

Uh, yeah, that hasn't been going so well. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

we wait

Shocks of bright red lead to... nothing.  Blood never even touched the pad I was wearing last night, and there was nothing but the brown streaky remains of whatever last night's event was this morning.

And here I am again.  Waiting for an ultrasound, probably tuesday.

Why not go in today or tomorrow, Justonemore?  Honestly, it won't be conclusive.  Today I'm 5+6, tomorrow I'm 6+0.  Both days sort of on the cusp of when you can see something good.  Tuesday I will be 6+5, and there will either be a baby with a heartbeat in my uterus, or there won't be.  If I learned tomorrow that things didn't look good, say, there was an empty gestational sac in there, well, what good would this do me?  I would still have to go to Jury Duty on Friday.  This weekend would still be a Memorial Day Holiday Weekend where I have Monday off. I am still home with my family.

If I saw I had a SCH, well, I would be told to lay around with my feet up.  Well, after this scare, I will do that one way or another.

No, I am just going to keep to my schedule as planned. All that's different is that I'm headed to my tuesday ultrasound much more solemnly than I might have.  The blood has forced me to face that I am for now pregnant - and later may not be - head on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

No peace.

I was wrapping up work around five pm and getting ready to go teach a Zumba class (where I wouldn't have gotten my own heart rate up, promise).  And went to the bathroom, and wiped and there was the bright. Red. Blood.

It's about 2 hours later, almost 3.  Still bright red, not hitting a pad, but it's there about half the time when I wipe.

Of course there's nothing to do but to wait. Will it get heavier. Will I need to go in for an earlier ultrasound (nurse wants me to do this of course).   Could be a sub choroionic hematoma. Could be a miscarriage. Only time will tell.

Here I am again.  Trying to accept with my rational mind that high betas are meaningless. A properly implanted intrauterine gestational sac is meaningless. Waves of nausea are meaningless. A pgs tested embryo is meaningless.

I can't have normal. I can't have peace.

sometimes I forget....

Sometimes I forget I'm pregnant.  I've gotten really good at this disconnecting thing.  It is much easier to say goodbye to a pregnancy when you aren't convinced that it will result in a screaming infant.

There was actually a screaming infant at my house this weekend - PBFAW brought both of her babies and her husband over.  Did I ever mention that her husband worked with us as well?   In any case,  Viking, myself and the Nibble used the Sunday to come to grips with the fact that we all have to say huge teary eyed goodbyes, they are moving.  Across the country, to Portland.

I am thrilled for them, and dare I say, a little jealous.  They both will continue working in our cause, but for way more chillaxed organizations (I mean, it's Portlandia, they have to be, right?)  They will have her brother and SIL in close proximity.  They won't have to deal with crazy toxic honcho boss.  Maybe they will continue to have crazy bosses, but at least they will experience new kinds of crazy bosses, right?

Any way, the visit resulted in me spending a fair amount of time holding a four month old.  Man, they're tiny.

And I just didn't tell her about my news yet.

Perhaps because it's not newsworthy?  She told me she was pregnant with her second baby when she was five weeks pregnant, out of concern and some deep rooted understanding that I needed to hear it from her and not someone else.  But me, well, I can't even say the word yet.

But.... it's starting to smack me in the face, at really inopportune times.

Yesterday I am driving to a meeting and the Beatles come on.  Nice.  Let It Be.  Oh, Jesus.  I am crying.  No.  I am bawling.  Like tears are streaming down my face and someone can see me at this red light.  

And then there's this morning, when a wave of nausea strikes, as I finish a little of the milk left in Nibble's cup before we get ready to leave the house for school.

I have an ultrasound scheduled for Tuesday May 30th.  I will be 6 weeks 5 days.  No questioning can result from waiting this long.  There will either be a heartbeat, or there won't be.

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Oh, let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Oh, let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
And there will be an answer, let it be
Oh, let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Oh, let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Oh, let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Oh, let it be
Won't you let it be, let it be, let it be 

 Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Songwriters:  Lennon and McCartney

Thursday, May 18, 2017

fucking scans (update in comments)

So yesterday my betas more than doubled, to 3,449.  I got a message that I had to come in for a scan on friday.

Nope, impossible I said.  I live over an hour away and can't get Friday off of work (see toxic boss, who holds mandatory staff meetings from 10am to eternity on fridays).

So I get them to agree to allow me to do the scan locally.  Gee, thanks for letting me pay over 200 bucks out of pocket.

So here I am, forced to get a scan at exactly 5 weeks 0 days.  These early scans are complete bullshit designed to take habitual aborters like myself into the land of the insane.

You know what I'm gonna see on this scan?  In a perfect world, a gestational sac and the beginnings of a yolk sac.  In a possible world, just a gestational sac because the yolk sac can take a day or two to even appear, maybe until 5 weeks 3 days.  If  we assume my hcg is still climbing normally, I would expect that maybe it's around 5,000 today?  So we will be able to rule out an ectopic pregnancy, and that's about it.

I really didn't want to have to start getting ultrasounds until I was well beyond 6 weeks.  To say they're triggering is an understatement.  I was instructed that I needed to get this one and then I could hold off for two weeks.  Fabulous.

Gah.   So check this out: this morning I drove downtown to my office, got here around 8:45.  At 10:30 I will drive back north to the suburbs for an 11:30 scan, then when that's done back downtown to my office.  THEN I get in the car and drive back north toward the suburbs to get the Nibble in order to driver her back down AGAIN for her ballet rehearsal downtown.  Four blocks from my office.  Up I-83, Down I-83, about 6 times in one day. 

I forgot how much fucking driving I have to do when I am knocked up.  Being raised a New Yorker, this driving across the region fifteen times a day is painful.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Stress dreams

And so begins the moment in early pregnancy when your subconscious has decided that you better fucking acknowledge to yourself you are pregnant, because if you don't, you're still gonna have those awful dreams where all of your teeth are falling out.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

when work is toxic

I tend to believe sometimes the word toxic is bandied around too easily.  The toxins in our food and air....the toxic family members...that Brittany Spears song from the 90s...

But the thing is, when it comes to people, well, it's often it's real.  When you walk around your office with a feeling of dread, and anxiety, because some of your bosses (and yes, I have more than a handful of bosses, despite being a boss of sorts myself) might say something that makes you feel even more dread and anxiety, that's well.... toxic.

I have one boss - the big honcho boss of my organization, actually - who has always raised my blood pressure.  I've mentioned her in this blog before.  When I suggest that something is black, her immediate reaction in a room full of people is to say I am wrong, but of course it's white justonemore, what are you some kind of moron?  About a month ago I spent a good deal of time stressed out that I would be required to attend a meeting in Atlantic City on the day of my FET and that I would have to explain my reason for being out, HIPAA be damned.  She makes no bones about believing in our mission to the point where she made many sacrifices on the family front.

Well, I am not the current subject of her ire for the time being, but I just learned a much-loved colleague is.  This colleague (like everyone it seems) sometimes supervises me.  So my sometimes-supervisor came to talk to me today, and spent a good hour crying in my office, about how she loves her work, but feels like she is between a rock and a hard place with our boss.  And to be honest, she is.  Their relationship has deteriorated to a real point of no return, and I don't think my beloved colleague has any real choice but to take her considerable skills elsewhere.  Not a fun thing to do when you're looking at four years until retirement eligibility.

And when she dried her eyes and left my office, I felt my blood pressure rise, and the bile build up in my stomach.  I am going to miss this colleague.  Maybe she will be here another year, but I am definitely going to lose a supportive friend.  Not to mention PBFAW may never return to our office now that she has two young children.

And I deeply want the opportunity to mother another baby - I mean, you have to want it to endure this hell known as pregnancy after loss after loss after loss.  But man, I am in what is quite possibly the least supportive environment in the world to embark upon this journey into the realm of the insane. (And yes, there is a decided lack of sanity in choosing to set yourself up for another bout with PTSD).

At some point, if this crazy plan works, I am going to be forced into some kind of conversation with honcho boss. I say this because I am assuming that if this works I will start to grow a baby and as small as I am, I will certainly start to show. Honcho boss will either:
a.  Tell me I'm crazy because I'm too old, or,
b.  Tell me I'm crazy because it's apparent to anyone that I already have a hell of a time juggling my job and Niblet.

This unsolicited conversation won't go well.  Now, let's be clear, I give less than a single fuck about what this woman thinks of my personal life.  But that doesn't prevent the dread in my bones, and the bile in my stomach.

In some ways I am happy that I am an RPL survivor.  I know beyond any question that stress has never killed my babies.  Chromosomal abnormalities, a fucked up situation where an egg was fertilized by two sperm, and a random shitty birth defect led to the stack of rings on my finger,  Stress?  Nah, I am not going to let the stress mess with my head.

But man, it sure feels awful.

we live to see another day

We live to see another day is pretty much all I can say about my beta results.  They're high, 1,530 at 13dp5dt, or roughly 18dop.  The neurotic traumatized basket-case in me, with a tiny but clear voice  might ask, too high?

So now I go back.  The clinic is also testing my TSH, something that was never done by my OBs or REs in the past.... which is a nice touch for an RPL-er, though my thyroid has never been identified as a culprit in the past.  In any event, the numbers have to start doubling.  Baby steps.

I just re-ordered another supply of estradiol, progesterone and syringes + needles.

This morning I chatted with my parents about everything and anything that didn't have to do with pregnancy. I will be seeing them in a few weeks.  If this thing sticks I can always tell them then.... or not.


Monday, May 15, 2017


And now we've arrived at the sloggiest portion of pregnancy after recurrent loss, the repeat betas.

This morning I trekked out to a clinic, only to find it didn't have a stat lab to get rapid results, and then had to trek even farther out to the suburbs to another clinic. 

A nice little elderly Russian phlebotomist whispered a warm "good luck" after looking down at the lab slip. And wrote me out lab information for the next two visits, because my doctor is out of state and they need extra information and nothing is ever easy.

Now I wait.  Then I get a number, ruminate for hours whether it is a good number or bad number, and then wait some more.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


My mechanism of dealing with pregnancy after RPL is what I'll call "actively disconnecting" (I'll have to ask my therapist one of these days if that's a real thing).  It's just two fun steps!

Step 1.  Checking in on your pregnancy every few hours:  This can involve peeing on a stick, or feeling the cramping in your abdomen, noticing your superpower level sense of smell or really feeling your exhaustion.  Vomitting or wretching, if you're really lucky (I don't usually get this lucky until I am about 6 weeks along)

Step 2.  Ignoring the fact that you're pregnant:  You can throw yourself into editing a colleague's memo.  You can stay connected to work on the shared server, even though you've taken a sick day to stay home with your sick kid (poor thing has an ear ache).  You can make comforting, nutritionally pointless meals for her, like grilled cheese sandwiches, while you wait to take her to the doctor.

Sometimes the effort to disconnect is thwarted, like, when your boss asks you to fill out a doodle poll for an upcoming staff meeting in NYC.  Hmmm.... would I be scheduled for a first ultrasound that week in May?  Or, can I attend that overnight conference in early June if I have to self-administer PIO shots?  Cause, I'd really rather not.  But will I even be pregnant?

I hate it when the practicalities of pregnancy, along with the necessary questions about its longevity impede upon my ability to pretend that I'm not pregnant at all.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

It's time for the fun game...

Is it implantation bleeding or a miscarriage? Ready, set, go!


I was just checking in on my instagram feed and found a beautiful photo my formerly pregnant best friend at work X 2 (PBFAWX2) posted of her son, now two months.

I've been a neglectful friend this past month.  While I started out rocking the being a helpful person thing really hard (taking her daughter while she was in labor, visiting the family, delivering soup on cold days), these past few weeks I have fallen off the face of the earth for her.

I could say it's because of the cycle, the monitoring appointments out of state, the FET.... but honestly it's the baby.  Maybe it's the drugs, the PIO, the estrace, prior to that the lupron, but I've just had this intense feeling that I need to stay away for a bit.

All of that was heightened a few minutes ago.  I looked at this adorable little guy and needed to close that shit fast on my phone.

Maybe it's the HCG that's building up in my system.  (Yes, the line is progressing).

Those stacking rings I wear?  Well, I actually ran out of them, and took to wearing a random one in order to accommodate my recent chemical pregnancies.  (Who needs a manicure?)

Yesterday I ordered three more.  One to replace the one with a square, one to represent the Nibble (to wear on my pointer finger) and one to represent this current pregnancy.  To be added to either the middle or pointer finger at whatever point its conclusion falls.

I feel, well, pretty vulnerable right now.

Viking is there.  Another close friend who knows is a text away.

But nearly everyone in the world (save a few readers) who know me by my face in real life are in the dark about all of this.  That includes my parents and some of my closest friends.  And almost every one of my co-workers, who I am quite bonded with.  The IVF cycle, the FET, and now, these lines on a stick. All of it is a hidden life.

My closest work colleague, who I have been training to take up all of my research work should I ever need to be out for a length of time, thinks I'm dying.  No seriously, he knows I had some sort of "procedure" a week ago, and with my stories about insulin resistance and many doctor's appointments, I am quite sure he thinks I have some horrible disease.  He's also only just about to turn 30, and I know beyond any question that can't even begin to imagine what I've hidden these last five years.

I hate keeping secrets from my parents, in particular.  But I know it's for the best.  They know I have chosen to embark on a donor cycle, but I have kept all of the details from them.  They love me, but I also know that they can internalize my stress to the point where we are all falling apart, and then they're actually more stress on my plate.  I need to keep them distanced from this for the time being, to protect us both really.

And PBFAWX2.... well, she knows that I had been planning to do this.  Get pregnant via IVF and another woman's egg.  And she was incredibly supportive of the plan.  She would probably be thrilled to hear the details.

But the last time I gave her any details about a pregnancy we were both pregnant, she with her first, I, with what would be my fifth consecutive loss.  When she told me she was pregnant, and was so excited to be pregnant with me, I had to have the uncomfortable conversation.  The one where I truly wished her well, told her everything would be just great, and that she would be an amazing mother.  But also stated explicitly that she should not expect to have a joint office baby shower with me, or plan on us being out on leave together with our babies.  Because the odds were high I would not be pregnant for long.

It's not that I don't think this current pregnancy can stick.... actually, I am about as hopeful for it as any pregnancy in the world really.... but I can't share it with her.  Not yet.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Ahh, we are now back into the fun of this blog, where we have had visible but faint lines on wondfos for about 36 hours and wonder when they're going to darken. 

Part of the issue is the bullshit of counting  ___days post 5 Day transfer (as of this post, I am now 6dp 5dt).  What the fuck does that even mean in line terms?  I'm sort of used to seeing a clear dark line around 10 or 11 dpo, so I don't know what to make of these meh sort of lines.  Viking can see them, so that's nice.  I am trying to prepare him for a chemical pregnancy, because I am so out of my comfort zone of knowing what something should look like at this stage.  He of course doesn't want to hear anything coming out of my mouth right now with regards to peeing on sticks, and I can't say that I blame him.  It's as awful a topic as anything. I know I'm pretty damn early, since my clinic doesn't even have me getting blood labs until next Monday.  A darker line on a fucking stick would be a little comforting (and yes, I know, the amount of water I drank, fruit I ate, dye on the individual test, whether mercury was in retrograde or whether my cat took a piss on the left side of the litterbox, I know, I know, you can't judge a pregnancy by the lines on a stick because the concentration of hcg in your urine isn't an exact science).

So yeah, I'm technically pregnant.

I guess I need to find some more stacking rings on etsy.

Away we go.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Still doin' what I do....

Last night my daughter's public school held a pretty spectacular fundraiser.  And yes, in keeping with the fact that I refuse to believe that the following things will doom a pregnancy that isn't already doomed: I drank a beer, ate a few mini tuna sashimi tacos (because they combine my two favorite things in the whole wide world) and danced my ass off.  In heels.

And I might as well admit on this confessional that I did all of this "call the tww police" stuff after being something of an asshole and peeing on a stick at 4dp 5dt.  Why?  Because I was crazy tired yesterday, and fell asleep for nearly two hours in the middle of the day.

 There was a faint line.

(There is still a faint line today).

Friday, May 5, 2017

Chipper pessimism (I mean pragmatism)

Dear IVF Coordinator,

Good morning!  This question isn't coming from pessimism (it's more from pragmatism).  If my beta is negative the week of May 15th, how soon could I start the process over again?  Could you explain the next steps and timeline to the next FET?  I'm asking because I am trying to get my work  and vacation calendar in order for the summer.  Thanks!  (And stay dry!)


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Why no one should take fertility advice from me

So, I am in my TWW, or really 10 day wait because this was a transfer of a 5 day blast, and trust me, I will be peeing on a stick in about 7 days so that I don't need a grim nurse to tell me I have to go through this bullshit all over again.

While this is my first IVF, I think I can say I've bounced into this drill pretty quickly.  And I'm ready to jump into it again if need be.  But let me make a list as to why I am the worst person in the world to seek TTC advice from:

1. I am incredibly negative - Noooo, really?  Actually, I don't think it's negativity, it's pragmatism.  Look, there's a 65-ish percent chance that this first FET will work.  That leaves a whole lotta room for error.  I think anyone with a background like mine who goes into their FET assuming they will be pregnant two weeks-ish later needs their head examined.

(Do you see why I am not cut out to be a fertility life coach?)

2. I do all of the things during the TWW that ladies on the interwebs freak out about.  Sushi?  Fuck, I had a salmon and avocado roll yesterday.  It was DELICIOUS.  Coffee?  Are you fucking kidding me? 

Look, I have been pregnant five million times, and none of these things killed my babies.  I think if you can't get pregnant and you look to cut caffeine, that seems like a reasonable reaction.  But I am already on a ridiculously restricted diet per my nutritionist - about 1200-1300 calories a day.  It's been three months and I've lost a whopping 5 pounds.  Why?  Because I'm small, and already fit, and losing ten pounds is a fucking slog.... but I digress.

3. My stress relief doesn't look like your stress relief.  My readers know, I have the loveliest acupuncturist in creation.  She needled me and held my hand through about 4 of my pregnancy losses.  But you may have noticed, I haven't discussed her recently...

When I made the decision to move towards DE, I also made the decision to start "fresh" (as if that's possible for a 42 year old recurrent miscarrier).  But I really looked at what I could realistically do to keep myself sane, given my loaded work schedule, Nibblet's loaded extracurricular schedule, and the fact that I am cycling out of state. 

Something had to go, and it was acupuncture.  Getting appointments used to be a stressful experience.  Lying on the table was also a stressful experience later on, after my TFMR.... it wasn't my acupuncturist's fault, she would tell me to visualize a pregnancy, and unfortunately, I would visualize the day my world collapsed and my daughter was diagnosed with an omphalocele spanning the entire length of her torso.  So that wasn't working for me.

What does work for me?  Dancing.  Zumba.  Hiking.  Romance Novels. 

Now, I'm not going to be an asshole about this.  The doctors told me to quit the zumba and the ballet, so I will quit the zumba and the ballet.  I will walk the Nibble to school every day.  I've downloaded more trashy novels on to my reader.

The Viking's reaction to all of this has been sort of comical.  I was painting my nails in bed last night, and he says, "Should you be doing that?  Is it safe?"  (Deep breath justonemore).  "Yes, it's safe.  Plenty of manicurists and hairstylists get pregnant.  I am not drinking Sally Hanson Fast Dry nailpolish.  The embryo should be quite fine."

On the other hand, a quick google of "is nailpolish safe during the TWW" will get hundreds of hits.  Many of them, posts by women who seem to be quite sure that the "toxins" of the nailpolish are bad for a developing baby.  Never mind that the embryo in my uterus is a cluster of cells about the size of a grain of sand.  Maybe smaller, I can't remember.

Do you know what the doctor who performed my transfer said?  Well, aside from telling me to not exercise heavily, she said THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO.  WHAT I DO WILL NOT AFFECT THIS OUTCOME.  IT WILL EITHER WORK (YAY!) OR NOT WORK (BOOOO!).

And if it doesn't work, we have three embryos left. And the second FET has an 85% chance of working.  See.....I am focusing on the positive. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Calm before the whatever

Well, first I have gotta report that Viking is THE BEST at IM injections.  No, seriously, we could make some serious cash if he attempted some mildly illegal side-hustle offering to inject infertiles in need. He's that good.  (Icing the injection site ten minutes prior, then massaging and lying on a heating pad ten minutes post helps too).

My office is eerily quiet because everyone but me and one of my staff are attending an enormous conference out of town and won't return until Thursday.  It's a perfect week to get some embryos implanted, cower then hide and pretend that I'm not going to be a lunatic.

The FET is scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm EST.  I'll take the next day off to hibernate a bit....though I wish I was better at self-pampering.  So far, Wednesday includes: Volunteering at the Nibble's school for an hour, getting my A1C rechecked, then visiting my disapproving nutritionist to hear all the way that lupron blew my weight loss plan.

Somewhere in that day I should eat a nice meal (fuck you dietician) and browse around a thrift store.

See ya on the other side.