Here We Go Again

My wife got the call at 2.  This is late and I was on the we’re not pregnant again train.  I boarded sometime after about 1.  But………… WE’RE PREGNANT!!!!

I am really abusing the caps lock function today, but it’s one of those kinds of days.  Or should I say one of THOSE kinds of days.

Another low beta (32), but still officially pregnant.  We’re going to the outpatient clinic on Christmas morning for beta #2.  A number higher than 64 would be the best Christmas present ever.

The next few days will be filled with craziness like fertility dances and positive thinking.  Whatever it takes, right?  Anybody have any ideas?

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The Obessive Pull is SO Strong!

Since I’ve been off work this week, keeping myself occupied has been a full-time job.  If I pause for even a moment, all I can hear in my head is BABY, BABY, TESTING, BABY on a loop.  It’s enough to drive a person crazier than they already are.  Since Monday, I have cleaned the entire house, washed everything we own, made three trips to the grocery, completed my Christmas shopping, wrapped all gifts.  I think that’s it.  Now it is 10am on testing morning and there is nothing I can do to distract myself.  I can’t work on classes, I can’t focus enough to read, I can’t even listen to the Today show.  All I can think about is ARE WE PREGNANT? ARE WE PREGNANT? ARE WE PREGNANT?.  This is intermingled with PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE.  It’s pretty pathetic, but it’s where I am.  I’m not fighting it anymore.  I’m giving myself over to the pull.

RING PHONE.  RING!!!!

Four More Days

Waiting here after our fifth try, I’m surprised by how much feels different and how much feels very much  the same.  We’ve still got patches and pills and needles.  We’re still counting days.  I’m still fighting the impulse to ask her how she feels every few minutes.  I am getting better with that one though.

What is different is a pervasive feeling of calm.  Neither my wife nor I am particularly calm at baseline, so this is new.  We are also talking about the babies, which we haven’t done in the past bc my wife has been cautious about emotional connection before we are sure we have anything to be connected with.  I talk to them each night and kiss them goodbye when she heads to work.  She justifies her extra bowl of cream of wheat before bed by saying “The babies love farina.”  We’ve decided that we are brave enough to be hopeful this time.  It’s scary, but it also feels right.

Fertility Fest

We spent the remainder of transfer day on the couch watching movies about pregnant women.  It just seemed like the right thing to do.  The RE got delayed in surgery and our transfer was pushed back from 12:30 to 2:30 to 3:30 to 4:30 and at 5:00 it was finally time.  Happily, we live close to the office so we were able to take care of things like walking the dog and paying some bills and returning phone calls while we waited.  It was also great that neither of us had to get back to work.  All of these delays would have been a nightmare of class cancellations and case shuffling in previous transfers.  Another “whew”.  During all of this back and forth, we decided that watching silly baby movies would be the perfect way to spend the evening.  It was a good call.  Both of these movies are hilarious and it felt good to snuggle together on the couch and laugh and eat gingerbread cookies.  Hoping all of that calm and happiness felt welcoming to our two new little possibilities.  Hang in there guys!

Perhaps

We’re both feeling good.  This is new.  Usually on transfer day, somebody is in mild to moderate anxiety land.  The first time, we were both there.  That wasn’t particularly pretty.

My wife has taken the whole day off from work and I submitted my final grades late last night.  This is allowing us to make today all about us and the transfer.  I’ve spent the morning decorating the tree and listening to Christmas music while my wife went for a long run.  The RE called this AM to push the transfer back to 2:30, so we’re going to do a little Christmas shopping and go out for lunch.  All of this ease and calmness and lack of rush has me feeling good.  Could this be a sign?

To Hell with Fear, We’re Going with Two

My wife made the call this morning.  We are transferring two.   Halla-freakin-luia!  In case you can’t tell by my bizarre word usage, I am wildly excited.

We made the decision last night on the couch over wine.  The way all good decisions in our relationship are made.  She’s been playing with the idea since last cycle and her lean has become more pronounced in the last few days, but I still wasn’t sure how she really felt until that moment.  While I was shoveling humus into my mouth, she said “Let’s do it” and she had that comfortable, settled look about her face.  I love that look.  I immediately began to gush (I blame wine) about how I would just love it if we were lucky enough to have twins, which started her on the whole “what I really want are healthy twins” thing (which goes without saying in my view) and I thought we were going to be swept into “Very Real Potential for Medical Complication” conversation #gazillion and one, but she left it there.  Yes, I want a healthy baby and so you do  you.  Enough.  That’s all.  Done.

Now, let’s go make babies.

One or Two??

That is the big question around here these days.  At the beginning of this process we were VERY clear about taking the most conservative approach possible.  Conservative with respect to the likelihood of multiples.  In fact, we have been “against medical advice” kind of conservative.  As a physician herself AND being the daughter of an OB, my wife has WAY TOO MUCH information about the challenges of multiples.  From both the pregnancy and the life outcome perspective.  My father-in-law actually suggested at the beginning of this process that we check the triplet rate for the RE we are using.  His exact words were “Twins are hard, but now triplets?  Your marriage will be over.”  Ummm….. gulp.  In fact, I’d like to have a word with whoever said that knowledge was power.  In this case, I’m not so sure.  As a result of all of this kind of thinking, we elected to have a follicle reduction that left only one follicle prior to our first IUI.  We went on to transfer one blastocyst for our fresh IVF cycle and again only one blastocyst for the last frozen cycle.  If you read this blog, you know where all of that conservatism has gotten us.  NOT PREGNANT!!!

Now here we are in December and the question is finally back on the table.  My position has remain  unchanged.  I (perhaps bc I am not burdened by any of that claustrophobic data) am not afraid of twins.  We have the resources, we have the love and I’m sure we can do it.  My wife is worried about the increased risk of all sorts of troubles, but I say (with ignorant confidence) “We can handle whatever we get and find a way to be grateful for it”.

If anyone is reading this, I would love to hear how you made/are making this decision.

Priorities or The Car Goes Where the Eyes Go

I’ve had two good needle days so far.  I’m talking “Oh!  Is it already done?”  kind of good.  Music to my ears.  While it’s true that I have been head needle slinger around here for almost six months, I’m crediting this new ease with a new attitude.  Well, it’s not really a brand new attitude, it’s more of a readjustment.

All of this is about our baby.  It’s ALL for the baby.  For our family.

There are many things about this process that are hard and painful, but they can’t become the focus.  We can’t let them distract us.  These challenges exist and they demand some emotional space, but that space needs to be on the periphery.  Our family and this baby need to be in the center.

So, that is my focus this cycle.  I recently read  The Art of Racing in the Rain and the dog in that book (yes the dog) made a good observation.  He says that the car goes where the eyes go and I think he’s right.

So, yeah it’s expensive and yeah I have fairly significant needle anxiety.  Yeah, my wife feels like a chubby pincushion and the skin on her backside has been red and irritated since the summer from a combination of injections, estrogen patches and the waterproof adhesive she covers them with so they sort of stay on when she runs.  And you better believe that not getting pregnant after IVF is so scary that it’s hard to breathe sometimes.  And yeah, we’ve cancelled two vacations and put more $$ than we will probably be able to  use in her flexible spending account bc we thought we would be delivering before we will be, but ultimately none of that matters.

All that matters is our baby.

THOSE People

I think we are on the “be particularly nice to those poor people” list at the RE’s office.  We got hugs from everyone this AM from the receptionist to the accounts/$$ woman to the stenographer to the head nurse.  There was a lot of hugging.  A lot.

It also used to be the case that we had to walk downstairs to the lab after ultrasounds to wait in line with people from other offices for the blood draw.  This has taken anywhere from 5 minutes to 40 minutes each time.  Given how many blood draws we’ve had in the last few months, this has been a major time suck.  Well, today while my wife was waiting in the stirrups for the stenographer, another nurse popped in to do the blood draw while we were waiting.  Who knew THIS was possible?  She told us that their policy is to refer patients to the lab for blood work, but that she would be happy to draw for us when we’re in and run it down to the lab.  Well look at that!??

All of this is kind and thoughtful and generally a good thing.  We have a great RE and the whole office is fabulous.  But….. this morning I couldn’t stop myself from imagining that at some staff meeting, our names were moved to a secret/informal kid glove treatment list.  Some version of the critical case file.  I hate that.  But, maybe I’m just grumpy.