Embryos are Transferred!

1 Aug

We got up this morning and went for an easy hike.  It was a nice time to spend with my husband and our hounds.  It was nice to be outside and moving before transfer.  It helped with my stress levels to just be active.

10588191_730149073784_1199771008_oAnd then I took a valium and we were on our way to the clinic.  Last time, I was trying not to throw up on our way to transfer, but this time it seemed to be a lot easier to remain calm.  I convinced myself that if anything was wrong with the embryos we would have heard by then.

They took us back pretty quickly.  This time we both got to change into gowns.  We both had hair nets and booties. 🙂  And then they showed us our embryos.  The first two THAWED PERFECTLY!!!  Which means we still have 2 frozen. 🙂  I can’t be more thankful and more relieved.  Also, I’m pretty sure I was given a higher dose of valium this time. 😉
FET 2

We were so impressed with the facility and professionalism at UNC today.  The doctor was gentle and positive.  The nurses were compassionate and helpful.  The embryologist was thorough and cautious. The OR was super modern, clean and impressive.

The whole experience was a million times better than the last time at the last clinic.  I feel so much more calm and relaxed this time.

No bedrest this time.  I’m supposed to take it easy today, but I can go back to being active tomorrow.  The nurse said I could be as active as I feel comfortable with.  I think I’m going to stick to brisk walking and easy hiking.  No weights, yoga, or running for now.

Beta #1 is Sunday, August 10th.  Please pray for these two goldfish. We have so much hope for them. <3<3

 

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Pre-FET Anxiety

31 Jul

FET #2 is tomorrow at 11:30.

Unlike last time, where time seemed to crawl, time has seemed to speed up this cycle.  I’m not ready for this.  I’m scared and anxious.  I don’t feel the joy and positivity I felt last time.   I haven’t slept for a full night in 2 weeks.  Whether that’s from the anxiety or the medication, that’s anyone’s guess.

I’m still having nightmares about the embryos not thawing or something going horribly wrong.  I had to put in writing yesterday that while the plan is to thaw and transfer 2 embryos, if neither of them survive the thaw the clinic has my permission to continue thawing embryos until they get 1 viable embryo.  That’s terrifying.  What if they have to thaw all 4 just to get one to thaw?  What if we don’t have anymore frozen?  What if this transfer is our last shot?

I know two thawed with no problem last transfer, but they’ve been moved and jostled since then.  What if our decision to move to another clinic ruined our chances to have our own babies?

I suppose it’s good that I’ve been so fixated on the thawing.  I haven’t given much energy to the thoughts of what come after that.  It just doesn’t seem as concerning to me for some reason.  It’s weird.  I know.

And I know that statistically, at least 3 of those embryos should thaw just fine. I know this.  But it’s not stopping the anxiety.

It’s probably not the thaw that’s really freaking me out.  It’s probably the whole idea of doing this again.  Of getting pregnant again. Of miscarrying again.

This is exhausting.  I am exhausted.  I want this to work.  I hope it doesn’t sound like I don’t.  I’ve just had so much experience with it not working.  Ever.

This has turned into a much more negative post than I wanted.  I’m going to try to spend the rest of the evening being hopeful and zen.  I promise.

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FET #2 is Scheduled!

11 Jul

EEK, you guys!  They scheduled FET #2!  Apparently, UNC skips the period part and goes straight to meds.  I guess that makes sense considering they had me take 26 days of birth control instead of the normal 14 days.

My estrogen got super high last FET.  Close to 1500.  Maybe starting like this will keep it a bit lower?  We’ll see.

I go in for my baseline tomorrow and start taking Estrace 3 times a day on Sunday. 🙂

Projected FET #2 date: Friday, August 1.  Which means our first beta falls on Sunday, August 10.

I’m excited.  I got so excited as soon as I found out it was scheduled.  I was worried I’d be a weepy mess for the next 3 weeks, but I’m so ready!

More FET Prep…

10 Jul

I know, I suck for not updating about the embryos the day they arrived at the new clinic.  But they did get there.  And the embryologist called me that afternoon to tell me that they looked fine and were the correct temperature, which is the biggest concern when shipping embryos.  We won’t really know if they’re ok for sure until they are thawed.  It’s nerve wracking.

I keep having nightmares about them.  I used to dream about babies and babies being taken away from us.  Now I’m just dreaming about dying embryos.  I’m not sure which is worse.  I was in such a good place a couple weeks ago, but it’s almost like the embryo move made things more real.  We are doing another FET.  I took my last birth control pill on Tuesday and now we’re just waiting for my period to start.

My meds are in hand…
IMG_20140701_134427  I’m so happy to report that I will have ZERO injections this FET.  Just estrogen pills and progesterone gel.  I’ve heard the gel is messy, but it’s got to be less stressful than the progesterone in oil….

When I think progesterone in oil now, all I can think about is the few days after my 2nd beta fell when we had to keep doing the injections even though we knew the babies were dying.  I remember bending over the kitchen island so Jeremy could inject the estrogen and then the progesterone.  I sobbed and sobbed through it because the whole situation was so horrible.  I know that was really hard for him as well.

So when our new clinic offered to let us skip the injections (they told us to pick the least stressful method… duh… no needles here…) we jumped on it.  I love them.  I love them. I love them.  I know I keep saying that, but I don’t think I’ll ever take a good doctor for granted ever again.

And so we’re waiting.

On a positive note, I’m still frequenting the gym a lot.  If you remember, I started going regularly right after we found out about our last miscarriage.  A few week later, I set a goal that I wanted to lose 10 pounds before our next transfer.  I’m not overweight, not really.  However, I’ve definitely put some weight on over the past few years with all of the meds and bad news.  I wasn’t comfortable in my body and I blamed my body for killing my babies.  So I wanted to change the only thing I could: my weight and shape.  As of this week, I’ve met my goal. 🙂  10 pounds down and boy oh boy do I feel better in my own skin! 🙂  I think I could comfortably lose another 5 pounds, but I’m not really going to push it.

I had said that I wanted to run a 5k this fall, but with FET #2 falling in late July or early August, I’m not sure if that’s going to be feasible.  I think I might play it by ear.

My question.  Dr. M does not require bed rest.  She wants me to take it easy the day of transfer, but afterwards she wants me to go about my regularly scheduled activities.  Including the gym.  Right now, I’m running about 4-6 miles a week and probably walking another 2-3.  It’s not a lot, but it’s a lot more than I’ve ever done before.  When transfer rolls around, I will have been running fairly consistently for close to 4 months.  I’m terrified to do more than walk the dogs post-FET, but I know it’s going to be better for me (both mentally and physically) and the embryos if I stay active.  For those of you who have gone back to working out post-transfer, did you tone it down a lot or did you just not tack anything new onto your workouts?  This is definitely something I’ll be talking to the doctor about, but I thought I’d pick the brains of everyone else first. 🙂

Embryos En Route

1 Jul

Our embryos have just embarked on their 10 mile journey to the new clinic.

They were picked up from Cary, NC 20 minutes ago and will be delivered to UNC in Raleigh tomorrow.  This is the last step in getting completely transferred to the new clinic.  And the last piece of the puzzle for our second FET.

While I would have preferred to transport them myself, I’m just thankful it’s almost done.  So If you have a minute, say a little prayer for our last 4 embryos.  These 10 miles will be some longs ones.

Leg 2

 

 

Oh, here it goes again

17 Jun

I know I’ve been off the radar here for the past 6 weeks.  Honestly?  I just didn’t know what to say.  I can’t get a handle on my emotions half the time, so putting it into writing would have been a hot mess.  I had nothing new to post as it took more than 8 weeks for my period to come back post miscarriage.
I was all ready to begin a week of provera when it finally started on its own.  The funny thing (and I mean this in a completely not humorous kind of way) is that I was without a period post pregnancy for longer than  I was actually pregnant. It was a relief when it started on its own because it felt like my body was telling me that it was ready to try again.  My body was actually ready before I was.  I still don’t feel ready.  But I know if I don’t do this, if I take too much longer, I won’t ever be able to.

I started my birth control on Friday.  UNC does 3 to 4 weeks of birth control, which puts our 2nd FET at the beginning of August.  About 6 weeks to go…

Today, I went in to have my 2nd saline ultrasound of the year done.  They needed to make sure everything was clear post miscarriage and, thank God, it was.  But I’d forgotten how much those hurt.  While they hurt during for me, I think the 6 hours afterwards are always worse.  I curled up on the couch and zoned out all afternoon.

They also did the mock transfer today.  This was one of the features of UNC that I really liked.  They do a trial transfer just to make sure there are no surprises on the day of.  If you remember my first transfer, it was an awful experience.  I was so crampy and so stressed out and Dr. T did NOT help things.  Today, after she got the speculum in, she was super encouraging and told me just to relax and breathe.  She did three trial transfers before I even knew what happened.  I didn’t feel a thing.  She was so gentle.  I’m pretty sure I told her that I love her.   And I do.  I’ve been in and out of this office a few times since we decided to switch to them in May and each time I see them, call them, or email them, I’m so impressed with the quality of their care.  I was carrying so much stress and fear about this transfer and I have to say that today they alleviated 90% of it.

Tomorrow, they’ll call with my FET schedule.  After that, I still need to have my embryos shipped.  That’s a process that deserves it’s own post entirely…

And outside of infertility this month….

My oldest little brother graduated from high school on June 1.  I got to fly up to see it happen. 🙂

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We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary last Thursday.  A movie was about all I could manage.  I love him.

 

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And we joined my Jeremy’s family in Kentucky this past weekend for the first annual family camping trip. 🙂

 

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Ps. I’ve lost 7 pounds!  You probably can’t tell, but I can! 🙂

Doctor Interview #2: UNC

4 May

Last Thursday, we went to UNC to meet with one more doctor.  This would be our 4th RE.  Our 4th opinion. I went into the appointment thinking that Duke was at the top of my list and was worried that I wouldn’t give UNC enough of a chance.  But by the time we left, I was ready to hand over my embryos.

This doctor was a lot like the doctors at Duke, but she was more commanding and informative.  She was compassionate and educational.  Like Duke, she wants to dig deeper into my thyroid.  She also wants to check for any early diabetes markers since it does run in my family and can cause miscarriages.  She wants to recheck my clotting issues since my last test was over a year ago.  She wants to see if it’s getting worse or better, or even staying the same.  They also do mock transfers, where they simulate a transfer and make sure everything is going to run perfectly before the embryos are involved.  I love this for two reasons.  First, I like that they’re treating me like an individual.  I’m not in and out and done.  Secondly, I want to make sure the cramping I felt during the last transfer isn’t anything concerning.
Which brings me to the cramping I felt the entire time I was pregnant. Dr. T dismissed it and said it was nothing.  The doctors at Duke said it was probably the endometriosis and that there was nothing to be done about it. Dr. M said she’s rarely heard of that happening before.  She wouldn’t have dismissed it.  At the very least, she would have treated the pain just to keep my stress levels down.  Their clinic is so interested in helping patients with the emotional aspect of fertility treatments.  They have 2 therapists they use and recommend.  This doctor encourages patients to email her with questions.
And, first beta is just 9 days post transfer.  None of this 2 weeks nonsense.

She said our chances of getting pregnant (and staying pregnant) are good.  They would be higher if we had created our embryos with them (I’m sure most doctors think that though).  She’s the first doctor who told me that the silver lining in this last miscarriage was that I can get pregnant and produce good betas.  She didn’t say it that way, she was a lot more empathetic in the way she said it, but it’s what I’ve been looking for.  Something useful to come out of it.  Dr. B said something along the same lines about our first miscarriage and I remember it comforting me then as well.

UNC has put many of my fears and concerns about another transfer to bed.  I can’t control the outcome, but I think this next shot will be a good one.  We’re aiming for a June transfer depending on when my period decides to come back.  I go in tomorrow morning for thyroid, clotting, and diabetes blood work.

And how am I feeling overall?  I’m pushing through.  There are still days that I find myself watching the clock.  Watching the minutes tick by one by one as I wait for a decent time to go to bed.  Some days, I just want time to speed up and for the day to be over.  I’m not sure if I’m hoping the next day will be better or if I’m just hoping for a few short hours that my heart doesn’t hurt.

I’ve also been finding solace in the gym.  Go figure.  I started going two days after they told us my beta at dropped to 5.  I was honestly hoping it would jump start the bleeding.  I ran and ran and then came home and cried and cried.  But it helped.  A couple days later, after my muscles stopped aching, I went again and ran and ran.  I didn’t cry quite so much that day.  So I kept going, at least 3 times a week.  It’s been three weeks.  I’m starting to lose weight (in a good way) and I’m able to run a little farther and a little longer each time.  Some days, I find myself aching to go back to the gym to run even though I’d been there just that morning.  I’ve always hated running.  HATED.  But it’s comforting to run so hard that I just can’t focus on anything but breathing.  Like sleeping, it gives me a brief reprieve from having to think about what we’ve lost and what’s coming next.