Friday, December 31, 2010

The verdict is in...

...and I'm pregnant.  Like, really pregnant.  I took a test two days after that last post and saw a line.  Faint, but there.  The second lines kept getting darker and darker with each new test and each passing day.  I went in for my first blood draw and it came in at 402.  (They wanted to see a number of 100 or more.  I sure showed them!)  Then I went back again the day before yesterday for a routine, 2nd blood draw.  They want to see the first number double every 2-3 days.  I did them one better: I damn near trippled it!  The results came back at 6483.  (If it had doubled every 2 days, it would have been in the 3500 range)

Which leads me to believe that there is more than one Andrea-Jeff hybrid in there.  And let me tell you how glad I am that the number is that high.  Sure, for the obvious reason that it indicates a viable pregnancy, but because my symptoms kicked full-freaking-force in about 2-ish days after that first positive hpt.  I was worried that I was just being a drama queen about the symptoms, but the high level of hCG let me know that it's not (all) in my head.  I know the progesterone shots make me tired, but I was beyond tired.  Like, think of Lance Armstrong doing back to back Tour de France races.  That tired.  

Also, I developed a sixth sense.  No, no dead people involved, but this sense can't be categorized as "smell" because there's a supernatural and superhuman component to it.  For example, I can smell what you had for dinner.


Ok, not really, but did you know that couches have a scent?  As does paper?  And if I can smell those things, you can be sure that the smell of the dog kibble bin in the garage, the boys' morning breath, the trash can, and egg no*gag* (sorry, I can't even type that without wanting to vomit) are a million times stronger.  I've joked that I want to get a job freelancing as a CSI bloodhound.  I can put those puppies to shame.

And I am proud to report that I have not complained about a single symptom thus far.  Well, I did complain once, but I had a very valid reason.  See, I can't look at an avo*gag*do without wanting to spew.  I was supposed to make gua*gag*amole to bring to a family gathering on Christmas Eve, but the idea of mashing the avo*gag*dos was more than I could bare.  This is so very wrong because I am a Californian and it is a requirement that I love avo*gag*dos.  And I do.  On grilled steak, mashed into heavenly perfection and served with chips, on all Mexican dishes, you name it, I want it served with avo*gag*dos.

Or, at least I did.

But other than that, there has been no complaining.  I'm more than happy to be tired, I'm more than happy to have superhuman smelling powers, I'm even more than happy to toss my cookies about once a day.  My favorite parts about puking (no really, I'm being serious here...I have favorite parts of the event) are when:
1. Mid vom, Jeff says, very sweetly might I add, from the other side of the bathroom door, "Are you ok?  Can I get you anything?"
and 2. When the fun is over and I exit the oval office, he's waiting for me, grinning ear to ear, hand in the air to give me a high five.  I have my own, personal vomit cheerleader.

I love that man.

So anyhow, there ya go.  I'm one of the luckiest people I know and got knocked up (with most likely more than one spawn) on my very first shot (pun totally intended) of IVF/ICSI.  Jeff has to go to China for a freaking month, so my awesome IVF nurse moved up our first ultrasound to the day before he leaves.  We should know how many aliens are in the Mother Ship by Monday afternoon.

Until then, have a wonderful New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I don't feel like blogging today, so I've copied and pasted a conversation that took place about 20 minutes ago.  Red = me, blue = dear friend.


so jealous!!!

it's not my fault we have an inefficient snow removal policy

I wish we had one.

So I'm officially crazy.
Well, crazier.
And I'm hallucinating.

Um you are injecting hormones (in oil)...that'd make you crazy

brb, flipping pancakes

what are you crazying about?

so I have these STUPID-SENSITIVE test strips
lemmie find link
10u of hCG
these aren't your momma's hpt strips
have been testing out the hCG trigger
was out on the evening of 3dp3dt


and I considered it "officially" out on morning of 4dp3dt
Took one yesterday and nada.

meaning that it isn't in your system anymore?
and any hcg would come from a pregnancy?

No biggie, nothing appears because Happy and Grumpy are still implanting (fingers crossed)
so I pee this morning
dip for 3 seconds
and again, nothing
but because I'm insane and love to torture myself
ugh, brb, last pancake to flip


I tortured myself by googling "6dp3dt"
and followed a link to this other insane infertile woman
who got a pos hpt
but like, BARELY
like, at first I thought "girl, you crazy."
then I looked at a different picture of the same test and was like
great, now I'm crazy, too because I see it
so I went back to my test (still sitting on the bathroom counter, waiting out the 5 minute thing)
and stared
and stared
and squinted
and I saw something. but don't get excited, because I totally didn't see anything
because I'm insane

ha ha

and because I want to see something

do you have a picture?
no, sometimes you can see the faintest of faint lines

no, after about 20 minutes of squinting and rubbing eyes, I flushed the damned thing because it was taunting me

i don't think you are crazy

No, really, I think it was the negative image of the control line
so not only was I seeing lines that weren't there, but I was hearing the little, evil voice of the hpt
see? officially nucking futs

it's a good sign really

what, being crazy??

I was at my nucking futtiest when I was pregnat.

awesome. looking forward to being even crazier than I am on any given day. I honestly didn't think there was a higher level of crazy.

I am giddy with excitement for you

it's like Dante's levels of batshit crazy

just you wait, henry higgins, just you wait!



and we TOTALLY do it to ourselves
being infertile is a physical disease AS WELL as a mental disorder
moreso with the latter


ok, I have a wee pancake waiting for me

one wee pancake

and cold coffee

yeah, mine is cold


let me know what your test looks like tomororw
because we all know you will be testing tomorrow

a sign of a momma...cold coffee


you bet
of course!

hee hee

hell, I'd planned on peeing in a cup right before bed tonight

well let me know then, too!

I do have an arsenal of these things, after all
will do mon capitan
batshit crazy #1, over and out

And to further prove that I am, indeed, insane, here's a picture:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I know it's been a while, but I've got a perfectly good excuse: I've been sleeping.  Yeah, pretty much all day, every day.  Which, I must admit, does make the days go by faster.  (That's a good thing when you're counting down the days.)

So where were we?  Oh yeah, we'd gotten our fertilization report and it was good.  Jeff and I went to the hospital on Friday, I got to take a happy-fun-sleepy-time pill, THEY PUT A FREAKING CLAMP ON MY FREAKING CERVIX and then placed two embryos (one 8-celled grade A and one 8-celled grade B) near the top of my uterus.  Did I mention that THEY PUT A FREAKING CLAMP ON MY FREAKING CERVIX?!  Yeah, that was fun.

Because we had 7 that fertilized, I decided to name them after the Seven Dwarfs.  And because I'm a Pollyanna-style optimist, I decided that they transfered "Happy".  Because Jeff is a Fox News watchin', mechanical engineer, he decided the other one was "Grumpy".  I informed him that if we ended up with a colicky child, he would be in charge of it until it decided to stop crying.

Anyhow, here is the first-ever baby picture of my future spawn.  Happy is the one on the top left, Grumpy is down on the bottom right.

Friday and Saturday were spent lounging in my pajamas, but by Sunday, I'd gone a little stir crazy.  So, my sweet husband asked his parents to watch the kids and took me to see "Love and Other Drugs" and then out for Mexican food afterward.  Let me just say that I hope I don't jeopardize my status in the "girl club" by saying that the movie wasn't great.  Like, at all.  My theory is, the makers of this movie knew that, but decided to cast the very gorgeous (and at times, very nude) Jake Gyllenhaalaaleeyhannnalleenneall and Anne Hathaway.

So here I sit, 4 days past my 3-day transfer and I feel nothing.  Well, nothing but a whole lotta tired.  I am, however, convinced that I am pregnant.  At this point in embryo development, the embryo isn't even an embryo anymore, but a blastocyst.  It has already started to hatch out of it's shell and is beginning to attach itself to the uterus.  I've provided a diagram of that last step, below:

Ok, I might have substituted the boring, sciency labels for my own.  The labels I picked are MUCH easier to pronounce, though.  That, and they make about as much sense as the originals.  But, if you're reading this and your name is Jeff, you're going to want to know what the boring, original names were, so here you go.

Mandy, one of the awesome IVF nurses that was with us on Friday, said that I could come in for a beta on the 23rd, so rather than spend all of Christmas Eve either getting stuck in the veins with a needle and jumping every time the phone rings, I'm opting to go in on the 23rd.  That, and I really don't think what is remaining of my psyche can take any more waiting.

Oh, and if you think I'm even waiting that long for a pregnancy test, you are wrong, my friend.  Very wrong.  In my posession are 19, very sensitive, hpt strips.  They don't detect hCG at 50u, or even a laughable 20u, but 10u.  I've heard of women getting positives on as early as 8dp3dt and because I'm more impatient than my children, I'm so planning to POAS.

I'm armed and dangerous, folks!

Jeff, if you're reading this, I would like to say that I am sorry.  If I ever promised not to POAS before the 24th, I was most likely under the very strong influence of some pretty hardcore happy drugs.  So that makes that promise null and void.  And come on, you knew what an impatient girl I was when you met me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fertilization report is in...

...and it's good!  Out of the 23 that they plucked, 10 were "immature" (I'm still shocked that I of all people produced anything that was immature!  I mean, I'm so mature all the time!).  They were in GV stage, or "germinal vesicle" stage.  I found some info and neat pictures online here.  Sounds like they were about as immature as they could get.  Probably putting whoopie cushions on the chairs of the mature eggs.


Anyhow, they ICSI'd the remaining 13 and overnight, 7 of them fertilized!  Tomorrow I should find out how many cells each contain (we're keeping fingers and things crossed for grade A,eight-celled embryos!!) and when we need to be back at the hospital on Friday.

As my cousin Emily put it, I'm a mother of 9!  A mother of 9 with a slight (ok, "big") case of separation anxiety.  I mean, not that I want all seven to be camped out in my uterus right now, or to be the next star of some TLC show about moms with too many damned kids, but those itty-bitty embryo thigies are all alone in an incubator in Chuck's lab.  I mean, are they being sung to?  Are they warm and cozy?  Is Happy getting on Doc's nerves?  Is Grumpy flicking Dopey's ears?  (And duh, of course I've named them after the Dwarfs.  Couldn't think of anything more fitting for seven, tiny things.)

Well, I'm exhausted and still hurt like a sonofabitch from yesterday.  With all of the abuse it went through yesterday, I'm not surprised if my cervix is packing up its things and finding another place of residence.  Before I nuggle and nap with Benny, I'm going to try to talk myself out of calling Brenda (my hero) and asking how the embryos are doing.  They don't call, they don't write...I've got to check on them somehow, you know.

Well THAT really effing hurt

I'm on drugs and a tad on the sore side, so this is going to be short.  The bad news?  I woke up during the procedure and it hurt so bad that I cried.  My absolute saintly angel of a nurse wiped my tears away and stroked my head.  For the record, Brenda H. is a wonderful, wonderful woman.

After the procedure, I was given Tylenol with codeine.  Seriously, they gave me tylenol.  Tylenol doesn't do squat for my in the hell is it supposed to relieve the pain of the aftermath of the laser wearing shark?  Luckily, I had some percocet at home and it became my best friend as soon as I had lunch.  (Percocet on an empty stomach is not pretty.)

I was in the presence of another saint today.  My husband.  He held my hand, kissed my forehead, carried all of my belongings, remembered to take pictures for my scrapbook, made sure I was as comfy as I could be, told me how excited he was about our babies, tucked me into bed, and even rubbed my tush after he injected it with progesterone.  (You know, the one IN FREAKING OIL.)

Tomorrow, before noon sometime, one of my nurses are supposed to call and give us the fertilization report.  Oh!  I totally forgot to tell you all how many eggs Dr. Thomas (who didn't wear his Santa hat *sad face*) was able to retrieve.  TWENTY FREAKING THREE!  As in one less than two dozen!  Anyhow, a nurse is going to call tomorrow and let me know how many of the 23 were mature and out of those, how many fertilized overnight.

Well, I'm drowsy from pain meds and I really just want to curl up next to my sweet husband.  I'll post news tomorrow, as soon as I have it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

The last memory I have of writing to you is your standard-issue childhood memory of writing out a Christmas List.  I was at a table, facing a window in the living room.  I wrote to you on notebook paper, and next to my paper, was an open toy catalog.  I remember asking about the reindeer and something about the kinds of cookies you liked and then I remember thinking that "miniature" was a rather stupid way to spell "miniature", but that if it was in print in a catalog, then it must be right.

And don't worry, it's totally fine that I didn't get my "miniature" dollhouse furniture.  I didn't have the dollhouse to put it in, anyhow.  The roller skates that you brought instead were way cooler.

Since then, I've grown out of the whole "writing to Santa" thing and have moved onto a way more awesome phase in life where I get to watch my kids write their own letters to you.  You'll be getting their letters shortly, but Andy really, really, really wants this Lego-Indiana-Jones-Temple-of-Doom-Mine-Cart thing.  (I often ask him to remind me of what it's called, simply because I love to hear him call it a "mind cart".)  Benny wants a bouncy car and world peace.

Yes, world peace.

Anyhow, I'm 30 years old now and here I sit, about to ask for another "miniature".  For Christmas this year, the only thing I want is a miniature human.  A baby.  See, I go in to see my doctor for some blood work on the morning of Christmas Eve and am supposed to get a call later that afternoon, letting me know if the decembryos settled in for a long, winter's nap, or not.  (And a nap that lasts all of next spring and summer, too.)

I just really, really, really want to grow one.  (Or two, your pick, I'm easy.)  I saw a very pregnant woman with a shirt that read I create life, what's YOUR superpower?  I'm assuming that she would not have been impressed with my superpower: the ability to create scrapbooks.  I was jealous.  Like, the kind of jealous I tell my kids that they should never be because they have so much to be grateful for.

And I do.  And I am grateful that I already am a mother.  But that's not what I was jealous of.  I was jealous of her experiences of seeing a greyscale splotch that resembles an alien, on an ultrasound screen.  I was jealous that she got to feel her husband and kids pat her belly and talk to said alien.  I was jealous that she was going to get to push that baby out of her body and feel its slick, warm skin  against hers as the alien sings its first newborn cry.

So, if it is at all possible, please don't fuck up my Christmas with news that I'm not pregnant.


Saturday, December 4, 2010


When I went in on Thursday, I felt great.  When I left the office, I was bummed.  Lots of follicles, but the doc was worried that the e2 would be too high (because it had doubled from Monday to Tuesday).  But I got a call from the nurse later that day and things were great: e2 came in at 1355.  I continued the 100u of Follistim and was told to come back for more blood work and another ultrasound today.

When Dr. Thomas walked in wearing a Santa Claus hat, I should have known today would be an even better day.  I told him that if he wore that hat on my embryo transfer day, I could say that Santa Claus got me pregnant.  He said it would put a whole new spin on the song, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".  I was going to up the joke ante by saying something about Santa coming down the chimney, but I behaved myself.  And all you Victorian-era prudes out there don't blow a gasket, there was a female doctor in the room, as well as my best friend, Barbarella.  (She tagged along to learn how to give me my PIO shot when Jeff is gone from the 15th-18th.)

Madames et monsieurs, I am pleased to announce that I have 26 measurable follicles, total.  In case any of you obsess over numbers like I do, lemmie break it down:

Polly was the leader with thirteen (all numbers are in millimeters):

Heidi was only one away from a tie breaker, with twelve:

From Follicles generally need to be at least 15-16 mm to contain fertilizable eggs (although it is possible in rare cases for follicles to be as small as 14 mm and still contain fertilizable eggs).  Follicles grow 1 to 2 mm a day both while taking ovulatory stimulants and after the HCG shot.

So, to sum up, my smallest comes in at about 12mm.  If it grows 1-2mm every day for the next 2-ish days, I could be looking at 14-16mm.  Now, just because I have 26 measurable follicles, doesn't mean the shark is going to be able to retrieve 26 eggs, or that even if it does, all 26 are going to be mature.  (But it never hurts to hope!!)

My uterine lining (because you want to know this) is 9.9 ( they want it to be above 7, so this is great) and my e2 came in at 2975.  Santa Claus, sorry I mean, Dr. Thomas had guessed it would be somewhere near 3500, but this number is good.  

When Dr. Ifeelhorriblefornotbeingabletorememberhername called me earlier this evening, she told me that I would be triggering on Sunday!  WOO FREAKING HOO!  She told me to take 5u of Lupron and my last (hopefully the last one, FOREVER!) follistim shot tonight and then tomorrow at 11:30pm, take another 5u of Lupron and a shot in the ass (no, she didn't say, "ass") of 10,000units of hCG.  Don't freak out, I know it sounds like a lot, especially because I'm only taking 100units of follistim, but the hCG is concentrated or something.

On Monday, I get a shot mini-vacay and on Tuesday, Jeff and I need to be at the hospital at 9:30am for our egg retrieval at 10:30am.  Two awesome things about this: 
1. FREE valet parking.  That's right kids, all we have to do is pull up to the front door of the hospital and they park our car.  AND give it back to us when we're done.  FOR FREE.  Sorry, but when you're shelling out $15,000 for a medical procedure, you kinda lose your mind over freebies.  (Like my awesome, purple, CRH rubber band bracelet!  Oh!  And in the waiting room, all the Keurig coffee you can drink!)
2.  During the procedure, I can't do the fun "hooker toes" (nail polish is a no-no), but I do get to wear my nifty, new Santa socks.  $5 at Target, you can't beat that! 

After Pike babies are made in the lab, they usually hang out for a few days and then two embryos are put back inside the Mother Ship.  At that point, technically, I get to say I'm pregnant.  But don't expect any announcements until Christmas Eve, when I get the results of my beta pregnancy test

Oh, and keep those funky-cool band aids coming!  I'm going to need about 7 more to get me through the PIO shots.  Anybody have any of these?  Send 'em if ya got 'em!