Saturday, March 29, 2014

Onwards and upwards?

Yesterday I got the official call from Dr. Cuddles' office, I am pregnant.  At around 14-15 days post ovulation my HCG was 76, my progesterone was 60.

The second number is calming but of course the first number rushed me to the interwebs for assurance that I was in a normal range.  Of course I knew the mistake I was making instantly, and started cursing all of those bitches out there posting on the chat boards, nonsense like "I am 15 DPO and my HCG was only 150/200/500."  To make matters worse, I realized I was reading the ramblings of women who were steered to a website that lists median reported hcg ranges submitted by pregnant women, and in posts were checking their numbers against that median reported number for an HCG level on a given day.  It was not listing the mean.  Smack my head.  I know, I should be more patient with others (we don't all use statistics in our day jobs), but this illustrates exactly why the internet is evil.

Dr. Cuddles instructed me to schedule more blood work and a six week sonogram - in the lab report I pulled up from my hospital portal, she wrote, "HCG 76 positive!"  The American Pregnancy Association says my HCG is in normal range.  I have to stop the insanity.

But I can't.  Because the tone has been set for the duration of this pregnancy, how ever long it is destined to last.  Now I wait for the results of this morning's labs, will the number double?  If so, will it double again on Monday?

Of all the times one cannot indulge in a stiff drink.  But at least I'm not obsessively peeing on sticks anymore. Onwards and upwards, right?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Written in the stars?

So, after peeing on way too many sticks, I feel comfortable saying (only to you my dear readers) that indeed, I am pregnant. Though I should add for anyone who is interested that the faint lines on said sticks aren't rousing endorsements (um, yes, can I just ask, "Fucking Wondfo, are your ridiculously low HCG-capturing abilities capturing a chemical pregnancy?")  I suppose the bleeding gums and general nausea confirm it as well. 

For the average woman trying to conceive this should be a moment of joy.  For those of us who have been down the road of repeat pregnancy loss, these are the first moments in a lengthy series of moments of dread.  Will it stick?  Is this tiny fertilized egg doomed with chromosomal abnormalities from the get-go?

I am dutifully eating my leafy greens (folate) and taking prenatals.  I quit smoking decades ago and drinking years ago.  But I can't help but feel as if the story of this pregnancy has already been written - in the stars, perhaps - and I am a mere bystander to the drama as it unfolds.  I recognize that might sound controversial to anyone who hasn't experienced the hell of losing babies.  Am I suggesting that my future actions and behaviors are insignificant?  I mean think about it, women are relentlessly reminded of the responsibilities they have to the babies (or potential babies, if that floats your boat) they carry.

"Lay off the caffeine!"
"Exercise, but not too much!"
"Don't even think about eating sushi!" (despite the fact that the women of a rather large island nation likely chow down on it regularly).
"Think happy thoughts! Don't let your negative energy interfere with the beauty of what is happening inside of you!"

I'm sure I could solicit a long list from my readers.  All of these "reminders" often serve a twisted purpose when stated in the wrong context.  They act as a bludgeon to the mother who has miscarried through no fault of her own.

If I miscarry this pregnancy it won't be because I jonesed for a cup of coffee.  It won't be because I taught a zumba class.  It won't be because I am scared and trying to stay emotionally detatched from whatever is growing inside of me at this moment. 

If I sound bitter, perhaps it is because there is a small part of me that is.  The joy of pregnancy is simply not something I can grasp anymore.  A partial molar pregnancy, a trisomy and a cervix weakened by numerous surgeries have stolen that joy from me.

Two lines on a stick are a source of hope.  But they are not a source of joy.

And so I wait.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Squinters and hope

Things are just getting antsy around here.  I invested in a pack of wondfos from amazon- otherwise known as "internet cheapies" or ICs.  These ridiculously cheap pregnancy tests supposedly capture HCG at super-low levels in early pregnancy.  Needless to say, against the advice of my acupuncturist, I have been peeing on sticks for days, which is hardly a recipe for sanity.

Part of the problem of course is that I can't pinpoint exactly when I ovulated (because I don't temp and chart, it's too much work for the sleep deprived).  I can narrow down that I am either 10 days post-ovulation (dpo) or 11.  Obviously, I am hoping that I fall closer to the 10dpo end of the spectrum (implantation most frequently occurs 9dpo).

Most of this weekend I have felt pretty confident that I am not a walking member of the ranks of the knocked up.  Confident in a dejected sort of way.  I mean, I just don't feel pregnant.  But trying to be rational, my period isn't officially due for another 5 days.  Niblet's pregnancy test was taken after the first day of missing my period.  My last two pregnancies were also confirmed on about the day my period was due. 

This afternoon I got the faintest of lines on a wondfo.  A "squinter" as they call them, when you're angling your peed on stick to the light for the slightest indication of a pink line.  That slightest indication was in fact there. 

I do not believe I am pregnant.  I'm an empirical evidence kind of a gal.  Show me two lines on a stick, and I'll call it pregnant.  And we all know that two lines on a stick are by no means the ticket to a baby, as this blog sadly testaments. 

I do, however, believe I am still in the game this cycle.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Here we are again (In the TWW)

The morning of the IUI had the usual amount of stress which I would like to believe didn't doom it before it began (because babies are conceived and born in war zones, people).  This was mainly the stress of rushing.  Drop niblet at school.  Run, don't walk, to parked car, speed up road to IVF lab. Pick up husband's sample.  Run to office of Dr. Cuddles with vial in bra.  Insert those fuckers with a catheter.  Bata Bing Bata Boom.  Run out to a very important work meeting.  When all was said and done, I think we have as good a shot this month as any - which is to depressingly say, we fully took advantage of the roughly 7% odds that a clomid/IUI cycle will work in a 40 year old.

The good:
  • My lining looked good again, 10mm (the magic number for thickness to support implantation).
  • Two of three follicles were growing at a good clip (one poor little guy was lagging).  This means there's a good chance we're working with two eggs this month.
  • My cervical mucus looked normal.  My estrogen levels were "IVF level" (whatever that means).
  • Husband produced 22.5 million sperm (thank you husband!)
  • We had lots of (lumbering, tired) sex (see: people in their forties) on multiple fertile days to top off the IUI.
So, with that I sit on here day three of the TWW.  I will probably start peeing on sticks in about 7 days.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Big 4-0

Well, that's it.  I'm officially "TTC in my 40s" now.

Someone recently suggested to me that the build up to the date would be worse than the actual birthday and its aftermath, and she was right.  I'm surprisingly calm.  Rationally speaking, I don't appear to have turned into a cartoonish old crone overnight.    I have an IUI pending at some point this week, perhaps tomorrow (go surge go!) scheduled for tomorrow at 9am.  This month we're not flying as blind as last month. It's comforting, though the driving back and forth for scans, blood and procedures to squeeze into the work day unnoticed has been nerve-wracking.  I have a leak in one of my tires, and have yet to find a minute to get it fixed or buy a new one (yet I find time to pull over every 4 days to fill it back up?)  Of course my brain takes me to dark places where low-tire pressure is a sign from the gods that my IUI is doomed.  I'm bound to get a flat exactly when I need to speed out of a meeting at work to have my husband's sperm inseminated, right?  Welcome to my brain.

Dr. Cuddles scanned my ovaries yesterday, and was pleased to see my 40-year old ovaries cranked out three follicles ("that's a good number on clomid").  She also remarked again that my lining looks fantastic.  To an aging Asherman's girl concerned about the particular clomid side-effect of thinning the lining, this was the equivalent of going to a bar and getting carded.  We're tracking my LH surge by bloodwork each morning, which is a logistical bitch given my job pressures, but now at least I can rest assured that this month we will have given it our best shot.